Can A Tattoo Needle Hit Your Vein And Can Tattoo Ink Get Into Your Veins?

Written by: Claudia

Tattooing is essentially a medical procedure and like all complicated medical processes, there are concerns involved and risks that could occur. Many people wonder about the depth of a tattoo needle and whether it could potentially pierce a vein or whether ink can enter your veins from a standard tattoo session. We’ve got the topic covered.

Related: What Happens To Tattoo Ink After It's Been Injected Into The Skin?

What Happens to the Tattoo Ink - Where Does The Ink Go?

When you get a tattoo, your artist is using a needle attached to a machine that makes thousands of tiny punctures into your skin in under a minute. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and is made up of layers. The ink is deposited in your lower dermis region.

Main human veins and arteries are located between the dermis and the hypodermis. If your tattoo artist has been through the apprenticeship process and has trained accordingly, they’ll know the precise depth needed to tattoo your skin successfully; this depth will never be close to your major veins.


Human Skin Anatomy

Of course, smaller veins are scattered throughout your dermis and it’s for this reason that you may experience bleeding during your tattoo process, and why your tattoo fades over time. Your bloodstream produces macrophages which eventually try and combat the foreign particles in your skin and destroy them.

In this sense, tattoo ink can get into your veins as an immune system response. But rarely, if ever, is the piercing of a vein or putting ink directly into your veins a concern. Even tattoo blowouts, which are caused when the tattoo artist injects ink too deep into your skin, is unrelated to ink coming in contact with your veins but rather with fatty tissue and muscle which cannot hold the ink.

What About Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear swollen on the skin and are twisted very close to the skin’s surface. These will have a greater chance of complication if you were to tattoo over them.

Dr. Stacey Chimento says, “Tattoos involve applying pressure on your skin with a needle, which can rupture the vein, making it bleed into the surrounding tissue and cause an infection. Varicose veins struggle to heal due to their pre-existing damage. If pierced during the tattoo session, they could randomly bleed internally or externally, affecting surrounding organs.”

Because of the danger of potential infection or injury with these particular veins, it’s not recommended that you tattoo over varicose veins.

Does This Mean Having a Tattoo is Harmful to Your Health?

If you are not suffering from varicose veins in the region you wish to get tattooed, then, no, tattoos are generally not harmful to your health. Of course, you should always do careful research into exactly who is tattooing you, how they sanitize their equipment, and what ink they are using, since this trauma does mean exposure to your bloodstream.

Our Final Thoughts

A tattoo artist who knows what they are doing will never tattoo your veins or inject ink into your veins, though some ink particles are bound to be carried off by your bloodstream during and after the session. Unless you have varicose veins, you’re generally safe to keep away any concerns regarding your veins and tattoo ink.

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