Can You Get A Tattoo While On Antibiotics? The 411 on Antibiotics & Tattoos

Written by: Claudia

Antibiotics are prescription drugs that are given to you by a medical professional to combat bacterial or viral infections. Getting a tattoo requires pretty rigorous rules that need to be followed leading up to and during your tattoo session. You may have had your tattoo booked months in advance but now you’re about to head into your session while on antibiotics - should you?


Can You Get a Tattoo While Taking Antibiotics?

While you could get a tattoo while on antibiotics, the better question to ask yourself is should you? We’ll be honest with you: you really shouldn’t get a tattoo while taking antibiotics.

Chances are, if you are on antibiotics, your body is currently fighting off an infection, whether bacterial or viral in nature. This means your immune system is already having issues fighting off this infection on its own and requires the “backup” of medication to combat it.

When you get a tattoo, you’re essentially experiencing a surgical procedure that creates an open wound trauma on your skin. This abrasion is extremely vulnerable, especially in the first few days of healing, and is at a greater risk for bacteria infiltration and infection.

Risks and Precautions

Since your body is already having difficulty fighting off one infection, the potential existence of another due to your open wound could pose a great issue for your overall health. In addition, a weakened immune system will struggle to go through the proper healing stages for your tattoo and may complicate or extend the healing process.

In fact, the antibiotics may think that the pigment injected into your skin is yet another foreign body that needs to be combated. This could cause ink loss issues, or, even worse, an allergic reaction to the ink by your body.

On top of all that, if you are on antibiotics that means you are sick and potentially contagious. By going forward with a surgical procedure, you are putting your tattoo artist at risk for contamination with pathogens, as well.

How Long After Antibiotics Can I Get Tattooed?

Doctors recommend that you wait at least a week until you are off of antibiotics prior to getting tattooed, so your immune system has had time to strengthen and recover.

Our Final Thoughts

A tattoo can wait, but the overall health of you and your tattoo artist cannot. It’s not worth risking compromising your new tattoo before it even begins by getting a tattoo while on antibiotics. If you discuss this issue with your shop or artist, it’s likely that they will suggest an alternative date that is safer and better for you.

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