Can You Get a Tattoo Over a Bruise? Will A Tattoo Artist Work On Bruises?

Written by: Claudia
Updated:

So you just managed to rough up your skin and get yourself a giant bruise which happens to be in the exact same spot where you plan to get a tattoo - talk about bad luck! If you’re wondering whether you will have to reconsider your placement, reschedule your appointment, or if your tattoo artist will tattoo over bruised skin, you’ve landed on the right article.

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What You Should Know About Getting A Tattoo Over A Bruise

What, exactly, is a bruise? When our body gets bumped or experiences trauma, the small veins beneath our skin and tiny blood vessels called capillaries can break or burst. This soft tissue injury results in a pooling of the damaged blood cells beneath the skin, which results in discoloration of the epidermis.

When you get tattooed, your tattoo artist deposits ink past this epidermis, into your dermis layer. Some artists may hesitate against tattooing bruised skin for a variety of reasons.

Difficulty Working On the Skin

The first reason an artist may decline working on bruised skin is because it’s difficult to work on. It makes it hard to ensure you are inserting the right amount of color into the piece, it complicates the appearance of stencils, and it prevents any warning signs of allergic reactions or trauma that the artist may be causing the skin during the session.

Painful Tattoo Application

All tattoos hurt, but bruised skin is sensitive due to the trauma it has experienced, so tattooing on a bruise may amplify that pain for you. The best way to test this threshold is to take your fingernail and press it down on the bruised region. If that hurts, imagine that same pressure done by a needle, even deeper in your skin!

A bruise also has a pooling of blood which is happening beneath the dermis. This may cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo. It’s normal to bleed during a tattoo, but any excess bleeding may make it difficult for the artist to work on your skin, could lengthen the process (and cost) of your session, and may rub off stencils your artist is working with, which cannot be reapplied mid-session.

Healing Process

The entire aftercare procedure of a new tattoo requires careful monitoring of the area in order to spot any signs of allergic reactions, excessive trauma to the skin, or infections. A big bruise beneath your piece complicates this process.

In addition, some people experience bruising from new tattoos; this would amplify the pain of your already damaged veins and capillaries, and could become even more unsightly.

How Long Should I Wait to Get a Tattoo If I Have A Bruise?

Large, fresh bruises are dark in color and tender to the touch. It’s best to wait until your bruise has had some time to heal in order to make the process of getting tattooed easier for you and your tattoo artist. If rescheduling is not an option, your tattoo artist might give you the go-ahead to get your tattoo on your new bruise. Just be aware that trauma on top of trauma increases your risk of issues with healing or infection.

Our Final Thoughts

While getting a tattoo on a bruise really depends on your threshold for pain and your artist’s comfort with the process, you should allow your bruise some time to heal, if possible. It’s important to be cautious of the fact that if you decide to go ahead with getting a color tattoo over a fresh bruise, your finished piece may not look as you anticipated after its done healing.

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