The Risks of Tattoos and Alcohol: Can You Get a Tattoo While Drunk?

Written by: Claudia
Updated:

We’ve all seen the movies: friends go out and have a little fun at the bar and then stumble into a tattoo shop to get something to remember the night by. But how accurate is that picture? Can you really get a tattoo while drunk?

Tattoos and alcohol simply don’t mix, and we’ll dive into exactly why not in this article.

Related:

Can You Drink Before Getting A Tattoo?

The general rule of thumb is not to drink heavily 24 hours before your tattoo and then 24 hours afterwards. This will not only provide your tattoo artist with the optimal canvas to work on, but will also prevent any scabbing or healing issues that may occur when your tattoo is most vulnerable.

Can You Get A Tattoo While Drunk?

It's possible most likely by mistake or the artists' ignorance or turning the cheek. We and mostly everyone else on this planet absolutely do not recommend doing this. Any respectable tattoo shop will refuse you service if they sense that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Professional artists will not move forward with the risks associated with tattooing an intoxicated person. But there are numerous other reasons why you shouldn’t get a tattoo while drunk.

Can You Drink After Getting A Tattoo?

The general rule of thumb is not to drink heavily 24 hours before your tattoo and then 24 hours afterwards. This will not only provide your tattoo artist with the optimal canvas to work on, but will also prevent any scabbing or healing issues that may occur when your tattoo is most vulnerable.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Get A Tattoo While Drunk

Tattoo Regret

The number one reason why a drunk tattoo is a bad idea is because of tattoo regret. Considering how many other bad decisions are made under the influence of alcohol, imagine picking or designing a permanent piece of art for your skin when you’ve had a few drinks. Since alcohol weakens your inhibitions, it will also weaken your ability to select something high-quality and meaningful to put on your body, not to mention messing up the placement decision.

Reactions in the Body

There are a few bodily reactions that are concerning when it comes to drinking and getting tattoos:

Blood Thinning

Alcohol is a blood thinner, and the thinner your blood gets, the messier a tattooing session becomes. Not only will your artist have to deal with a significant reaction and loss of blood as they tattoo you, the ink may not hold in your dermis successfully, and thin blood prevents proper clotting for when you are healing the wound.

Infection

Alcohol leads to poor decision making, and this can lead you into environments or situations that increase your risk of infection for your vulnerable tattoo. In addition to this, since professional shops will generally turn away an intoxicated person, you may have to settle for a shop with low sanitation standards, also increasing the likelihood of infection or medical issues.

Allergic Reactions

You can never anticipate how your skin will react to specific ink or the specific trauma of tattooing. If you were to have an allergic reaction to your tattoo while also drunk, you may not seek out the professional help you need at that moment.

Dehydration

Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and alcohol severely dehydrates you. This not only makes it harder and more uncomfortable for your tattoo artist to tattoo your skin, but it also complicates the healthy healing process.

Aftercare Risks

When you get home after a night out, you’re likely to crash without remembering to do a lot of your nightly routine. When you have a tattoo, this nightly routine becomes more complicated, including removing the wrap after a certain amount of hours. You risk a dangerous sleep and a complicated morning if you get drunk and get a tattoo.

The Shop’s Reputation

As we mentioned, most reputable and professional shops will turn away a drunk person. A tattoo shop's entire reputation could be ruined by accepting what they later discovered to be an intoxicated client. In fact, they could lose their business registration.

In some countries, it’s actually illegal to enter a tattoo parlor if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so that’s something to also consider.

Our Final Thoughts

Along with most shops not even allowing you to consider getting tattooed if you are drunk, it’s generally just a risky and unsafe behavior that could lead to regret as well as potential health issues. This lifelong piece of art on your skin is worth a lot of careful planning and patient care, and putting your skin or the shop’s reputation in jeopardy is simply not worth it.

Learn more about what to eat and drink before getting a tattoo

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