Can Tattoos Affect Your Ability To Donate Blood & Plasma

Donating blood or plasma requires you to take full responsibility, as you are saving someone’s life. Hence, you need to consider various factors and go through an assessment to check your eligibility for donating blood or plasma. Most of the donation centers take necessary tests to see if you’re eligible to donate blood.

So, before offering to donate blood, you must assess yourself if you’re fit and healthy. Plus, you must avoid donating blood in certain conditions, especially if you’ve recently got a tattoo.

There are a few reasons why you can’t donate blood after getting a tattoo, and to learn those, you must read further below. In some cases, you’re eligible to donate blood even while having a tattoo. So spare a few minutes and find out more. You never know, you might still be able to save a life while adorning your body with different tats.

Do People lie About the Time it has been Since Getting a Tattoo?

Yes, the possibility of providing wrong information about your tattoo to a donation center is high. But why would someone want to risk anyone’s life if the whole purpose of donating blood is to save them? In some cases, it’s stupid to lie about your tattoo, as blood and plasma centers conduct a few tests on you before you donate. So even if you lie, it won’t work in your favor and save you the embarrassment. These tests reveal if you have a disease or infection that could harm the person receiving your blood.

Tattoos are one of the reasons for a blood infection, but that’s not always the case. It happens only if the ink or equipment used is of poor quality and if your tattoo artist hasn’t followed sanitization guidelines. When you get a tattoo on your body or get any part pierced, your immune system gradually starts to process slowly. Thus, you become more susceptible to catching different viruses and infections, especially blood-borne illnesses such as hepatitis.

It’s unethical to lie about when you got your tattoo, especially if you got it a week or a few days before going to the blood center. Fresh tattoos have this different type of glow and look that anyone can tell that you’ve just got your tattoo. The staff at blood donation centers are quite trained in assessing blood givers before they go ahead with it. Hence, you wouldn’t want to fool them and instead, save yourself some embarrassment. If they find out you lied, they could also ban you from ever donating blood. This is the last thing you wouldn’t want, especially if someone close to you is in dire need of blood.

Can Plasma Centers tell if You Got a Tattoo?

Plasma centers can’t tell if you have a tattoo and when you got it. However, if your tattoo is on a visible spot like your hand, arm, or neck and is fresh, the center might get to know that you’ve recently got a tattoo. Before donating blood or plasma, the center will run a few blood tests on you that usually help detect any possible virus such as hepatitis. These illnesses are common in people who get piercings and tattoos, especially if they have gone through a tattoo process using unsanitized tattooing instruments. Hepatitis can cause severe illness, and by donating blood while having a tattoo, you’re putting the receiver at a huge risk.

Sometimes you can get away with a tattoo and donate blood without anyone ever knowing about this. However, this again is a big risk, as you may possibly put someone’s life in danger. Having a tattoo doesn’t mean you can’t donate blood ever. As a donor, you have to meet a few requirements if you have a tattoo to make you eligible to donate blood or plasma. You can find these out below.

How long do you have to Wait?

In some cases, you can donate blood immediately after getting your tattoo, but this only applies to those who have got their tattoos from state-regulated entities. In the USA, a person is eligible to donate blood while having a tattoo as long as they get it done from state-regulated tattoo parlors. These parlors make sure they use sterilized needles and clean and fresh ink.

If you haven’t got your tattoo from a state-regulated tattoo parlor, you can still donate blood, but only after a certain period of time. It takes at least 12 months before you can donate. This is a deferral period that could flush away any possible infections you may have contracted from unsterilized tattoo instruments. That said, a few states do not regulate tattoo facilities, such as New York, Wyoming, Utah, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

What Other factors make you Ineligible to Donate Blood?

A few conditions make you ineligible to donate blood, even if your tattoo isn’t causing a significant issue. While having a tattoo is one of the main reasons your blood center may stop you from donating blood, you can’t donate blood if you have a piercing less than a year old. Piercing includes a lot of foreign material that may get in the way, contaminating your blood. This may lead to different infections, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

However, there’s a catch; if you’ve got a piercing done from a professional place through a single-use gun, you’re eligible to go ahead with your donations. If you’ve got a piercing through a reusable gun, you have to wait for about a year before you go for your blood or plasma donation.

Many other viruses and diseases stop you from donating blood, such as jaundice, babesiosis, Ebola, sickle cell disease hemophilia, Chagas disease, and many more. You don’t necessarily catch these diseases through tattooing. However, tattooing puts you at a higher risk of contracting these viruses and diseases. A few other medical conditions may stop you from donating, such as pregnancy, cancer, blood transfusion, blood pressure, COVID19, STIs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Some counties don’t have regulated facilities for tattooing; hence, if your tattoo is less than a year old, you don’t have the permission to donate blood in a few blood centers. Even if your blood center doesn’t restrict donating blood while tattooing, you must take some responsibility and refrain from donating.

If you want to donate responsibly, make sure you go to a tattoo parlor with good reviews and follow a strict sanitization procedure. The tattoo artist’s experience and skills also play a major role. So make sure you run a proper background check on your tattoo artist and ask him/her regarding her qualifications.

How to Prepare Yourself for Blood Donation with a Tattoo on?

If you meet all the requirements that allow you to donate with a tattoo, there are a few things you must do before your blood drive to help you go through a smooth process. These things are all the more important to follow, especially if you have a tattoo. If you’re eligible to donate, even with your tattoo, it’s best to wait at least 6-8 weeks for your tattoo to heal correctly. And this way, you will donate pureblood without any risk of transmission.

As your immunity is at its lowest when you get a tattoo, you can do a few things that will help you boost youR immune system. You must follow a clean and iron-rich diet, consume beans, red meat, spinach, and other iron-rich foods. Make sure you take part in activities such as dancing and exercising to help settle your stress levels, as stress has a major effect on your body function and may affect your ability to donate blood. Lastly, make sure to drink lots of juices and water to flush your internal system and get you back on track.

What to do After You Donate Blood?

Just because you’re through with the donation doesn’t mean your responsibility is over. You’re still at the risk of inheriting different viruses and diseases. Thus, you must take care of yourself, as after donating blood, you start to feel drained. You must do a few things to maintain your blood pressure and avoid the feeling of fatigue by constantly drinking water.

Plus, you must consume at least 32 ounces of water and avoid alcoholic beverages for at least one or two days. This is the time to rest as much as possible and stay away from unnecessary physical activity that may make you feel weaker. Moisturize the area where you’ve got your tattoo, especially if it’s still new.

Final Thoughts

No matter how badly you want to make a blood or plasma donation, you must take some responsibility. First, make sure you’re eligible to donate blood, especially if you have a tattoo on. While you may not have heard of any blood transfusion cases, but it’s better to be safe. This shouldn’t stop you from getting a tattoo, but it’s only a way to educate yourself on how you can donate blood or plasma the right way without putting anyone at risk.