Can Blood Thinners Prevent You From Getting a Tattoo?

Blood thinners are available in the form of medication and alcohol, which are a few things you should avoid taking before your tattoo appointment. Blood thinners cause numerous complications during the tattoo process, making it more painful for you.

During the tattoo process, it’s normal for you to bleed a bit. But with the consumption of blood thinners, you will bleed much more as the tattoo needle pricks inside your skin.

Excess blood flow will get in the way while he or she tattoos a specific design, and at the same time, it becomes more painful. Many other complications can occur during your tattoo process while on blood thinners. Read below to know if you can get a tattoo while on blood thinners.

Can You Get a Tattoo while on Blood Thinners?

Yes, you can still get a tattoo while on blood thinners, though it is not recommended. Blood thinners will create excess blood during your tattoo session and increase bruising.

What Happens If You Get A Tattoo While Taking Blood Thinners?

Before starting the tattooing process, your tattoo artist will go thru a checklist of questions to ensure they have all the information needed to make your session enjoyable and to ensure final tattoo what you were expecting. During this questioning phase is when your artist will ask if you are taking any blood thinners.

However, if they are unaware of the fact that you’re on blood thinners, you will face many unpleasant difficulties during the tattooing process. These can prevent your tattoo artist from finishing up on time. There are a few things you may experience, one of which is excessive bleeding.

During the tattooing process, you will bleed more than you usually do, which could lead to major side effects due to blood loss. This could put you at a health risk, leading to dizziness and nausea. You may have to seek medical help if the bleeding gets out of hand.

This causes the tattooing process to last longer, so you will have to bear more pain, especially if you’ve selected a sensitive place. If you have any serious medical conditions requiring you to take blood thinners, consult a medical professional before booking an appointment with your tattoo artist.

After your tattoo session, your blood will begin to clot as your body begins to recover. Blood clotting comes in the way of the healing process. It may take up to 36 hours for the bleeding to stop completely.

Therefore, you will have to deal with excessive blood flow during the healing process. This does not mean you should start taking anti-blood clotting medications, as this would just worsen the bleeding and take longer for your tat to heal.

You will not get the tattoo appearance you expect, as your tattoo will seem faded. The artist will keep wiping the area with a paper towel to get rid of excess blood and ink during the tattooing process. If you’re on blood thinners and experience heavy bleeding, the tattoo artist will have to keep wiping more frequently, which may result in a faded tattoo.

This is most likely to happen if your tattoo artist does not have proper training and experience to tattoo during excessive bleeding. With excessive blood flow, you’re most likely to experience a skin infection, especially since you will have an open wound. This means the area is highly prone to accumulating bacteria and subsequent infections.

You may end up having to spend more money on your tattoo than you originally did, as the tattoo process will take longer if there is excessive bleeding. This is especially the case when the tattoo parlor requires you to pay on an hourly basis. 

It takes a lot of effort and time to control excessive blood flow during the tattoo process. Paying your tattoo artist extra is a good way to show them appreciation.

There is a slight chance that your tattoo artist might send you back home if they find out you’re on blood thinners. The same applies to when you’re suffering from an underlying medical condition that could get in the way of your healing process.

Some tattoo artists consider certain medications and continue with the tattooing process. This is why you must always inform your tattoo artist of any medication, even if you feel like you’ll get turned away.

Of course, your tattoo artist won’t turn you away immediately once they find out you’re on blood thinners. Some experienced professionals can manage to pull off tattoos even when there is excessive bleeding.

These are a few things you may experience during and after your tattoo process. Some people might not experience much blood loss even while on blood thinners, so it depends from person to person.  But it’s best to avoid them at all costs if you want the perfect tattoo experience.

What Should You Do If You Want To Get A Tattoo But Take Thinners?

While a professional might not recommend you getting a tattoo on blood thinners, it’s not impossible. In fact, you may be able to get through it without too many complications. In some situations, you can’t help but take blood thinners, mostly due to medical reasons.

At the same time, it’s not easy to resist the urge to get a tattoo. So the question is should you stop taking blood thinners for a while and risk your health so that you can get a tat? Or get a tattoo while on blood thinners and deal with the complications?

This is a tricky decision to settle on, which is why you must consult your health professional and tattoo artist first. You cannot skip on medication, but if your doctor feels like you’re improving in some way and can miss out on the course for a few days till your tattoo is complete, then that’s the best thing that could happen to you. If you cannot skip out on certain blood thinner medications, you will have to discuss this with your tattoo artist.

If your tattoo artist is willing to deal with excessive blood flow and can manage tattooing you in that situation, then you’re good to go. Some tattoo artists aren’t comfortable with tattooing clients who are on blood thinners, so you will have to wait till you’re off them or look for another tattoo artist.

There are many supplements that may have blood-thinning elements, so you must give your professional a clear history of whatever you consume before going in for your tattoo appointment.

What OTC Drugs Are Considered Blood Thinners?

OTC blood thinners reduce your body’s ability to form clots and stop blood cells from gathering together. Two of the main OTC blood thinners that act as pain relievers are aspirin and Tylenol.

People commonly tend to take these medications when they experience unnecessary pain or want to reduce the pain before going for a painful procedure, like getting a tattoo. The most common reason for taking these OTC’s are headaches and body aches.

These medications prevent blood from clotting and help prevent certain sudden illnesses from emerging. However, they’re not adequate to stop bleeding, especially during a tattoo process. Many other OTC medications are major blood thinners mentioned below:

  • Midol
  • Nuprin
  • Sine-Off
  • Motrin
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Ex-lax
  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Warfarin

If you take any of these medications we mentioned above or any other OTC, you must consult a medical professional before going for your tattoo appointment or discontinuing them for some time (usually around 1 week).

How Long Does It Take For Blood Thinners To Get Out Of Your System?

There is no specific time for blood thinners to get out of your system, as this depends on the type of OTC you’re consuming, along with other health factors you’re dealing with. Usually, blood thinners leave the body within 2-4 days after you stop taking them, but this varies from person to person. If you’re taking OTC’s such as Warfarin, the blood thinner wears off within 4 days, depending on its therapeutic range.

A few factors can affect how long blood thinners stay in your system. These include other medications you take, liver functions, and your diet. Sometimes, you can reverse the effects of blood thinners, but only in urgent cases. The reversal takes place with the help of certain medications and injections. You may not go through this for a tattoo as it only takes place when there is heavy bleeding during a surgical procedure.

Final Thoughts

If you frequently take blood thinners, and at the same point, want to get tatted immediately, then you have to consider a few things before booking your tattoo appointment or stopping any medication. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop yourself from getting a tattoo or quit certain drugs.

As mentioned above, some tattoo artists take appointments from clients on blood thinners while considering certain factors. But to take extra precautions, it’s always best to consult your doctor. Avoid taking unnecessary  OTC’s in order to reduce taking pain as that will only make it worse for you, and try your best to keep alcohol away for a while.