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Type 2 Diabetes And Tattoos

How To Care For Your Tattoo

Myth: Diabetics cant have Tattoos.

Every tattoo parlor has a different protocol on how to care for your tattoo. Follow their instructions. They are the experts. There are a few common practices that you should follow, however.

  • Gently wash your tattoo every morning and nightwith lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Pat it dry with a clean towel orpaper towel.
  • Rinse it with water any time it comesin contact with dirt or excessive sweat, or other dirty environments.
  • Apply a recommended lotion at least twice aday. Vaseline or cocoa butter are usually recommended. Avoid anything withadded scents or colorsthese could contribute to an infection.

Specific Body Areas To Get Tattooed On

Well, lets put it this way. You have your blood sugar levels at the optimum and have control over your disease management. And you also have the urge to get tattooed. So is there anything more that you should know about. Apparently, there is. A careful positioning of the tattoo is a must for you.

Just to stay away from any complications down the line, its better to select the location beforehand. Always consult your tattoo artist and the physician before getting inked. A better advice would be to avoid getting tattoos on the poor circulation areas like ankles, feet, buttocks, shin and more. Also, its better to avoid the area where injections are commonly thrust upon like arms, thighs, and abdomen.

Get the location or the tattoo placement right and your tattoo wound would heal quickly with time.

What Are The Risks

Tattoos are permanent body art etched into the skin using electrically driven needles. The needles insert ink into the dermis . When you get a tattoo, the needle punctures break blood vessels. As a protective response, your body produces a natural defense against the injury and can become inflamed and bruise.

Ensuring that the tattoo establishment is licensed and clean is important in mitigating risk. Proper and thorough care of the skin after a tattoo session is also critical in preventing infections. But even with the greatest of care, there is still some risk of having an adverse reaction, which is likely to be higher in people with diabetes, especially those with elevated blood sugar.

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How Do Nanotechnology Tattoos Work

The ink is injected below the skin and is designed to fluoresce when it encounters glucose.

A wristwatch-like device worn over the nano-tattoo would be used to detect and measure the amount of fluorescence, and thus monitor glucose concentrations in the blood.

Constant blood glucose readings would then be sent to the patient, which would hopefully lead to better glycemic control.

If successful in clinical trials, the researchers say such technology could revolutionise glucose monitoring and lead to larger innovations for the diabetes healthcare industry.

How To Prevent Infected Tattoos And Body Piercings


To prevent an infection, follow all your aftercare instructions as they are given to you. Clean your site as directed, and report any of the signs and symptoms of infection listed below to your doctor.

What to do if you have an infectionDeficient circulation and open skin can lead to an increased incidence of infection in the area where the ink is administered underneath the skin surface, or in areas where piercings procedures are done. You could take a long time to heal if your tattoo gets infected, or if your body piercing doesnt heal up like it should.

Signs and symptoms of an infected tattoo or body piercing include:

  • Weeping at the site of the tattoo that is brown, greenish, purulent or yellow drainage, or any other color than clear
  • Redness and swelling at the site of the tattoo or body piercing
  • A fever
  • Increased pain or throbbing at the site of the tattoo or body piercing
  • Increased healing time

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of an infected tattoo, or if you have questions about how your tattoo is healing, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider. If your tattoo is infected, you will want to start on an antibiotic treatment right away, and not wait. If your doctor orders antibiotics to treat your infection, make sure to take it as directed, and take all the medication until it is gone. This helps prevent the development of super bacteria, that are resistant to current antibiotics available on the market.

Medical alert tattoo

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How To Properly Care For Your New Tattoo

Caring for your new tattoo is actually very straight-forward, and critical when it comes to preventing infection, and for ensuring it looks beautiful when its finally healed! Your tattoo artist should give you clear instructions on a piece of paper, but here are the basics from:

  • Gently wash your tattoo every morning and night with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Pat it dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Rinse it with water any time it comes in contact with dirt or excessive sweat, or other dirty environments.
  • Apply a recommended lotion at least twice a day. Vaseline or cocoa butter are usually recommended. Avoid anything with added scents or colorsthese could contribute to an infection.

Every tattoo Ive had they tell me something different about how to care for it, Leanne said. But the point, no matter what, is about keeping it clean.

Being a regular gym-goer, Leanne was concerned about her own sweat drenching her new tattoos and germs from everyone else all over the gym equipment. Her solution for this was simple: wash it immediately after every workout.

With my largest tattoo on my thigh, adds Leanne, I definitely paid extra attention to keeping it clean and taking care of it, because its a bigger area that could potentially get infected.

Blood Sugar And Tattoos

Having diabetes doesnt mean you cant have a tattoo or piercing. But your blood sugar levels must be in range before you do.

If they arent, your tattoo or piercing might not heal properly or quickly, and risk getting an infection. Your blood pressure should also be stable to stop these problems. You might want to discuss it with your diabetes team before going ahead to check everythings okay.

Getting a tattoo can take a long time and be painful, which will make your blood sugar rise. Make sure you talk to the tattoo artist and take breaks regularly so you can monitor your blood sugar levels throughout.

Bring snacks and hypo treatments just in case.

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Is A Tattoo The Right Choice For You

Getting a tattoo is a very permanent choice, and for the wrong person, it can be a life-threatening choice. While none of us want to let diabetes tell us what we can or cannot do, being honest about your overall blood sugar control before getting a tattoo is pretty darn important.

If the idea of getting a tattoo motivates you to improve your blood sugars, thats awesome!

In the meantime, maybe grab a Sharpie marker and draw one on there every day until youre ready.

Why Diabetes Complications May Limit Where You Can Get Body Art


Unfortunately, that level of under 7 is not a hard-and-fast rule. There isn’t a level at which we would say you should absolutely not get a tattoo. Thats why its a wise idea to talk to the doctor who knows you and your diabetes and how you handle it. He or she is better qualified to make an assessment of the safety risk of getting a tattoo or piercing, Ghiloni says. For instance, your A1C may be a 7.6, but your physician may say that youre completely fine to get inked. A1C isnt always the be-all-end-all indicator of diabetes management, she adds.

Also talk to your doctor about any limitations on where you should get a tattoo or piercing. For instance, if you have any neuropathy or circulation issues in your feet or lower legs, your doctor may suggest avoiding this area. Neuropathy may mean you have a loss of sensation, so youre less likely to feel an injury or problem as quickly as you should, Ghiloni explains.

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Choosing The Best Tattoo Parlor For Your Ink

There are certain things that are hard to find, and locating one of the best tattoo parlors for your body art is one of them, especially if youre a diabetic. If you want it done right, there are certain rules to follow. Remember, you have only one body so take care of it

Take time to research. If you spot a tattoo you fancy, ask the bearer where they got the ink. Check out websites and narrow them down, see the place in person, and how they do their work. Ask for a personal recommendation to meet the people they tattooed.

A reputable tattoo parlor should comply with the licensing requirements of the state. The staff should be professional, practice health, and safety standards.

The inks should be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and should be free from metals and solvents.

A professional tattoo studio should require the client to sign a release form asking if you are diabetic before the artwork begins. They only serve clients 18 and above.

What The Healthy Healing Process Of A Tattoo Should Look Like

Nobodys tattoo looks all that pretty in the first week of healing, so its important to understand what the normal healing process will be like. explains:

  • Stage One : Oozing, swelling, and redness that gets better gradually over each day. Scabbing begins to form over the area.
  • Stage Two : Itching and flaking begin, and this continues until all layers of dead skin and scabbing have fallen off.
  • Stage Three : Tattoo looks fully healed but may look slightly cloudy for a few weeks. Deeper layers of skin are still repairing, so continue to look after your tattoo.

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Avoid Body Locations With Poor Circulation

Avoid getting a tattoo on body sites where you may have poor circulation. Certain areas of the body, such as those further away from the heart, can be susceptible to reduced circulation, particularly in people with diabetes.

If you have diabetes and have poor circulation, it is probably best to avoid tattooing areas such as the legs, feet, hands, and buttocks. Poor circulation can reduce the body’s ability to heal wounds, increasing the risk of infection.

Precautions Needed While Getting Tattoo

Type 2 Diabetes Tattoo

Here are a few things that you need to take care of beforehand while opting for tattoos. That way, you would be on the safe side of things.

  • Before getting yourself inked, do convey your health status to the tattoo artist and let him be aware of your diabetic condition. The artist shall offer proper advice to you whether you should go for the ink or not.
  • If the tattoo youve wanted is large and big, then do check the pulsation and sensation of that specific area of the body.
  • Always have a stable blood sugar and glucose levels while going for tattoos as the long overdue procedure of getting inked can cause low blood sugar levels for the time being.
  • As of the opposite, there are also cases where the blood sugar and glucose levels rise up as a result of painful tattoo application procedure. Theres not much to worry about it, as it will go down on its own the very next day.

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Other Things To Consider If You Have Diabetes And Want To Get A Tattoo

A tattoo is permanent. While it may fade over time, it will be with you forever. Before you commit to getting a tattoo make sure that you love the design. Find a reputable artist that can create the design that you have in mind. Look at examples of his/her work before you begin to make sure that their style and yours are the same.

Also, make sure that the parlor your artist works in is clean and reputable. They should only hire properly trained professionals who wear disposable gloves while working. Needles should come from sealed containers and pigment trays should be new. The parlour should also have sterilization equipment and ensure that all surfaces are properly sterilized including their chairs.

What Are The Normal Stages Of Healing For A Tattoo

It usually takes about 30 days for a tattoo to be fullyhealed. During the first week you maysee some oozing, swelling, and/or redness that gradually gets better eachday. There will be some scabbing thatbegins to form over the area. Remember do NOT pick at the scabbing.

During the second week, you may find that the tattoo isitchy and flaking may occur. This willcontinue until all of the dead skin and scabbing has fallen off.

In the final 15-30 days, you will see that the tattoo looksfully healed but it may appear slightly cloudy still. The deeper layers of skin are still healingduring this time so it is important to continue to follow the wound care guidelinesfrom your tattoo artist.

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What Does The Future Speak Of

You didnt expect this one, did you? Nevertheless, heres a glimpse of the future for you. Scientists on their behalf have been developing the breed of special tattoos that would offer to monitor of glucose levels in the diabetic patients. That way, you can get yourself inked without any fear.

As per the research, scientist has been using nanotubes wrapped along in polymer thats glucose sensitive to help create a blood sugar readable ink. The ink can be read with the aid of a hand held device and offer accurate readings of the same.

How To Find Whether A Diabetic Is In Control Of The Body

Tattoos and Diabetes | Tattoo Advice Tips For Diabetic Clients | Can Diabetic Get a Tattoo?

A simple yet conventional method that pops up in the head is a blood test. Weve often heard of the blood test thing being a common precursor for diabetic patients and the same can be said here. The resultant blood test would help seek the Hemoglobin A1C levels in the body.

As of norm, if the last test of the diabetic patient in A1C show results as under 8%, then the patient is good to go for tattoos. Although keep in mind to have your heart, kidney, and neurological functioning at the optimum levels too. Match that, and you can get yourself inked with any form of tattoo you want. Just be sure to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

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Diabetes & Tattoos What You Need To Know

If you read outdated books on living with diabetes, those of us living with this disease shouldnt even walk around our house barefoot let alone get a tattoo! But these days, people with all types of diabetes are living dangerously by walking barefoot in their own home and even getting tattoos that are about diabetes.

You can absolutely get a tattoo if you live with diabetes, but there are still a few things you need to consider before popping into your local tattoo parlor.

In this post, I will cover everything you need to know about diabetes and tattoos, what it looks like when things go wrong and if doctors and EMTs even trust those diabetes-related medical alert tattoos!

  • Diabetes tattoo ideas
  • Diabetes And Tattoos: Case Study And Guidance

    Issues to be aware of with diabetes and tattoos

    A 29-year-old woman with insulin-dependent diabetes noted a painful erosion at the site of the tattoo which she had gotten 7 days before. A culture isolated staphylococcus aureus confirming the clinical impression of staph. This diagnosis was not entirely unexpected, since patients with diabetes mellitus are predisposed to staphylococcal infection. An oral cephalosporin cleared the cellulitis, leaving the tattoo a little distorted. The tattoo artist blamed the cellulitis on the patients failure to take proper care of the wound site. However, the lack of recurrent infections in the patients history indicates that she probably was not a carrier, and the infection grew from a new source.

    Tattoos are very popular, especially with teens. But the tattoo application process and aftercare, which can be long, painful and stressful, can create some problems for our diabetes patients. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels can both rise while a tattoo is being applied, and high blood sugar levels can also complicate the healing process, increasing the risk of infection.

    Other things to consider before getting a tattoo include:

    Tattooist quality

    The tattoo studio should be licensed and/or accredited. The patients can also research the companys reputation, and hygiene and safety practices.

    Safety and awareness

    The tattooist should be informed of the patients diabetes so they can tailor both the procedure and aftercare information.

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    Mention Your Diabetes To The Tattoo Artist

    Consider talking to your healthcare professional about getting a tattoo if you have any concerns or questions. They will be able to check your haemoglobin level and confirm that your blood glucose level is sufficiently stable to ensure correct healing. Also, think about informing your tattooist about your diabetes so that they understand your needs and the possibility that you might need breaks, some snacks or treatment throughout the process. This will also help them to understand the best course of action if you require any medical assistance.

    In recent years, a new type of tattoo has become popular: the “medical alert” tattoo. Specifically in the context of diabetes, it usually means getting “type 1 diabetes” or “type 2 diabetes” tattooed in order to inform medical staff of your medical profile in the event of an emergency.

    Where Should A Person With Diabetes Have A Tattoo Placed

    Diabetic Type 2 Tattoo

    If you have poor circulation, you will most likely NOT want to have a tattoo on placed on your buttocks, shins, ankles or feet. You may also want to avoid common insulin injection sites like your arms, abdomen or thighs. Injecting insulin repeatedly into your tattoo could potentially mess up the design. Ultimately the choice of where you place the tattoo will be up to you.

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