Can You Get a Tattoo While Sick? Risks Of Tattoo Sessions When Sick

Written by: Claudia
Updated:

You’ve had that tattoo appointment booked for months and your excitement is building. But now it’s a few days before your session and you feel a cold coming on. Wondering if you could just power through the tattoo session with your cold? We’ll tell you exactly why you should reconsider.

Related: Can You Get A Tattoo While Drunk?

What’s the Problem WIth Getting a Tattoo While Sick?

Even though you’re not technically banned from proceeding with your tattoo session when you are sick, like you would be if you were under the influence of alcohol, or if you were pregnant, it’s definitely not recommended for a whole host of reasons.

The common cold can be quite detrimental to your tattooing experience.

You’ll Feel Terrible

A cold or sickness is the sign that your body is fighting off something nasty swimming all up inside you. Your immune system is working overtime, and this is usually paired with symptoms such as a runny nose, a headache, body aches, and more.

If you bring yourself to your tattoo appointment, imagine adding the stress and pain of numerous needles on your skin, and knowing you have to stay perfectly still while you’re already suffering. When you’re sick, you’re more likely to want to curl up under the blankets and sleep it off, but now you have to force yourself in an uncomfortable position for a handful of hours.

It’s already very painful and uncomfortable to get a tattoo, but now it will be amplified with the pain and discomfort of a cold and cold symptoms.

Increased Risk of Infection

A cold is your body fighting off something foreign and unfriendly in your body. Your symptoms are the reaction of your white blood cells being brought to other parts of your body to fight off and destroy whatever is trying to do you harm. It’s easiest to think of your white blood cells as your soldiers and your body as the battlefield.

When you get a tattoo, you are essentially creating an open wound on your skin that needs to be repaired. This means your white blood cell soldiers will be taken away from the battle they’re already fighting and many will flock to close up and repair this open wound (and try and destroy the foreign particles entering your bloodstream). You are spreading your defenses far too thin, and this increases the risk of complications as your tattoo heals.

If your body cannot give all its attention to your tattoo, or wound, that you just got, there is a greater chance that there could be bacteria or external irritants that make it past your soldiers and cause an infection.

You’re Potentially Infecting Everyone Around You

Speaking of infection, going in to get a tattoo when you are sick doesn’t only put you and your health at risk, it puts the health of everyone else at risk as well - especially your tattoo artist.

It’s selfish to proceed with a tattoo session when you cannot guarantee that you are not contagious, would not infect the other people in the room, and cannot be sure that you won’t be spreading your disease around, too. A cough or a sneeze can also contaminate a perfectly sterile room.

Keep in mind that artists do have a right to turn you away if you are displaying severe symptoms of illness.

Medication and Side Effects

Various medications that you may be taking to treat your common cold could have side effects that complicate the tattooing process, such as increasing swelling, causing drowsiness, or blood thinning issues. These not only make it more difficult for you to be tattooed, but it also could increase the risks associated with the healing process. Some medications are just not tattoo session safe!

Our Final Thoughts

Getting a tattoo is already a complicated and stressful experience. Add a cold or sickness to the mix and you’re really setting you, your body, and your artist up for disaster. You want to be in tip-top, healthy shape when you are getting your tattoo to not only speed up your healing process after your session, but to also ensure the process is easier on your artist so you end up with the most pristine and amazing tattoo at the end of it all. If you’re sick, it’s best to reschedule your tattoo appointment.

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The information contained on Tattify is intended for informational and educational purposes only. None of the statements made on this website are intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease, infection or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before using tattoo/skincare products that may interfere with medications or known conditions. This article is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute medical or professional advice or services. If you are looking for help with your condition, please seek out a qualified medical practitioner.

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