Diabetes and Body Art: Getting Tattooed Safely
To get a tattoo, our second layer of skin – the dermis – is pierced from 50 to 3,000 times per minute with a tattoo machine.
This voluntary piercing of our barrier against infection poses extra risk for people with diabetes. High blood sugar dampens the immune system and slows healing time, increasing risk of infection or making it difficult to fight one.
However, diabetics do not have to forgo getting tattoos – just be wise about it.
Getting Tattooed Safely: Six Considerations
Since our human desires for things such as tattoos can often override common sense, these considerations are worth sharing.
Talk to your doctor before visiting a tattoo studio. He or she can help you determine your individual risk. Along with skin and blood borne infections, tattoos carry the risk of allergic reactions to equipment or inks, and scarring. Your complete medical history and overall health need to be looked at. The doctor may advise against a tattoo, but the decision is still yours and will be an informed one.
The risk of tattoo complications will be minimal if your blood sugar is under control. Your recent A1C readings – average blood glucose level for the previous 12 to 16 weeks – should ideally be less than seven percent. If your A1C tests are under eight percent and you have no neurological, heart, or kidney problems, the tattoo should heal okay if well-taken care of.
Make sure the tattoo parlor or studio you choose is reputable and follows the FDA guidelines for hygiene. For instance, tattoo artists are recommended to wear gloves and use needles only once to prevent the sp Continue reading