What Happens if You Pass Out While Getting a Tattoo?

The thought of fainting while getting tattooed can sound super scary, especially if you’ve never passed out before. What will happen to me? What if I fall and hurt myself? Does it mean I have a medical condition? Let’s get right to answering these questions and more!

While most people do not pass out at their tattoo appointment, it’s nice to know what to expect in case it does happen to you.

If you faint, most artists will stop tattooing and hold your body securely to make sure you don’t fall to the ground or get hurt. Also, well-trained artists will usually talk to you while you’re unconscious.

They’ll probably speak in a comforting tone, remind you that you’re at a tattoo shop getting a tattoo, and reassure you that you’re okay. (Rarely, people become disoriented, and talking to the client can be a big help.)

You’ll probably have to stay in the shop for 15-30 minutes after your session is over, too. The shop’s staff will want to make sure your body is back to normal and that it is safe for you to leave.

Your safety is their #1 priority, and most artists will do whatever they need to do to ensure that you are well taken care of if you pass out during a session.

How do you keep from fainting when getting a tattoo?

While the following steps won’t 100% guarantee you don’t pass out, they may help reduce the risk.

First, get a good night’s sleep the night before. A well-rested body is less likely to faint during a tattoo.

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids the day you’re getting the tattoo. Work on hydrating yourself for several hours before your appointment rather than chugging a large amount of water before arriving. If you’ve been sweating a lot recently, you may even want to grab a sports drink to help replenish any nutrients that might have been lost.

Eat a healthy meal about two hours before you’re scheduled to go in for your tattoo. This will help prevent your sugar levels from dropping too low, which is a fainting trigger for some people. You can also bring a snack to your appointment just in case you start feeling unwell.

To further reduce the risk of passing out, there are a few other things you can try while getting tattooed: Make sure your breathing is steady and you’re not unintentionally holding your breath. Try your best to stay calm and relaxed. Chat with your tattoo artist to keep your mind off what is going on.

You may want to bring a friend with you, just in case. He or she can help distract you by talking to you, also. And it’ll be good to have someone to drive you home if you’re not feeling the best after your appointment.

Try to keep your body cool. If you start getting hot, make sure to let your artist know. And speak up if you start to feel weird or light-headed. A wet paper towel on the back of the neck can sometimes be helpful if you’re not feeling well.

Also, if your artist will allow it, lie down while getting tattooed. This is not always possible and depends on where your tattoo is going to be placed.

Lastly, you may need to take a short break from the session. Taking just a five-minute break can sometimes make a big difference in how you’re feeling, and most artists do not mind.

Why does someone pass out while getting a tattoo?

Most of the time when a person loses consciousness, it is due to Vasovagal Syncope. Basically, it happens because your body is overreacting to certain triggers, such as pain or stress.

This reaction is responsible for over 50% of fainting incidents. Generally, your blood pressure and your heart rate drop quickly, which decreases the amount of oxygen making it to your brain. The result is: You briefly pass out. Vasovagal Syncope is not usually dangerous and gets better on its own.

Rarely, people can pass out due to underlying medical conditions. Individuals with heart problems, anemia, hypoglycemia, and epilepsy sometimes faint more easily when experiencing painful stimuli. It is important to know of any medical conditions you have and share them with your tattoo artist.

Here are a few things that can add to the risk of passing out as well: Drinking alcohol before your appointment or being hung-over, feeling overstimulated or super excited, having an empty stomach, and getting too hot or sweaty.

Is it common to pass out after you leave your tattoo appointment?

For the most part, people don’t faint after leaving the shop. However, it can happen.

Your body is still recovering from the “trauma” that it just endured. Sometimes, the brain realizes the pain is finally over (yay!), and your body basically shuts down for a moment- It’s almost like when your computer needs to reboot itself.

This is generally nothing to be worried about, and it will resolve itself quickly. If you have a history of passing out, you’ll probably want to keep someone with you for a couple hours after you leave your appointment.

The risk of falling or of being behind the wheel of a car while passing out far outweighs the dangers of the actual fainting episode.

Will an artist finish your session if you pass out?

Your artist may finish your session, or he or she may decide to call it quits and complete the piece another day. It depends on the artist and the circumstances surrounding your fainting.

If you come around quickly and seem to be making a rapid recovery, he or she may go on and finish up your tattoo. A lot of it hinges on how things are going afterwards. Oftentimes, when people pass out, it’s only for a few seconds; and they’re back to normal in a minute or two.

If you continue to feel crummy after fainting, and you still just don’t feel “right,” your artist will probably decide to stop the session.

Ultimately, the shop’s staff wants to keep you healthy, all while making sure that you get an incredible piece of artwork. They’ll do whatever is needed to make sure you get both, in the safest way possible.

Overall, fainting while getting a tattoo is not something to be overly concerned about. Even if it happens, you should start to feel more like yourself very quickly after the event. By taking the proper precautions, knowing your medical history, and communicating with your artist, you should be well on your way to a safe tattooing experience.