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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

Diabetes and Tattoos

My husband is 29 years old and has been a type 1 diabetic since he was 15.  He desperately wants to get a tattoo.  I have heard that it is okay, but his mother disagrees.  Are tattoos bad for people with diabetes?
9 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a physician, but the mom of a type 1 diabetic.  I have not heard of anything specific that a diabetic should not get a tattoo, however it can understand why his mom would think that.

Diabetics can take a long time to heal from regular guts and scrapes, and wounds.  Do to the blood sugars. Most diabetics do not heal as quickly as non diabetics.   There fore when getting a tattoo, you are more susceptible to getting an infection or not healing and getting to the way you want the tattoo to look.

We had this happen when we pierced our daughter
Avatar universal
There was an article in this morning's Washington Post newspaper about growing numbers of infections in people who have piercings. One case that was written about was a young 18-year-old diabetic girl who had nipples pierced, developed a flesh-eating bacteria and finally had to have a breast totally removed! Now, I know that a piercing is NOT the same as a tattoo, but the risk of infection is always an issue when the skin's protective covering is broken for any reason. Today's world has antibiotic-resistant bacteria that were not evolved to be resistant to antibiotics when I was a youngster. And of course, diabetic people are more susceptible to infection because bacteria grow better in the high-sugar environment and because the body is not as able to fight it off. So it pays to be aware. If your husband decides to proceed with a tattoo, he should absolutely insist on  the cleanest possible environment and procedures.

P.S. I do have pierced ears (done 14 years ago) and I had no problems with infection or healing. But bacteria are becoming more of an issue now than they were a few years ago.
Avatar universal
My 19 year old type 1 daughter has been debating the tatoo issue since she turned 18.  I told her that it was up to her, as an adult, to make an informed decision before getting the tatoo as once you have it there's no turning back.  She checked out the tatoo parlor on-line ( I think she went to the state health department's website & the better business bureau) and she also contacted her physician as I had pointed out the greater risk of infection because of her diabetes.  Her physician told her because of her good bg control she could not think of any reason why she would be at greater risk than someone without diabetes.  She did state that the location of the tatoo should be one with good blood flow.  She got the tatoo on her back, which made me happy as a mom because I don't have to look at it every day and thankfully she had no infection or problem.
Avatar universal
I have type 1 diabetes (had for almost 15 years) & have 3 tattoos-they all healed exceptionally well & look fine-the only problem I can possibly think of is that they were VERY painful & I did have a low in the middle of one so keep something handy.Good luck & pick wisely :)
Avatar universal
I got 2 tats 1 yr before I was diagnosed and they both heald up fine, but now I'm more cautious.  I would like to have another one but my  mother and husband have told me no b/c of the not healing so quickly issue, and I can live with out another one out of respect for both of them. Good luck...
Avatar universal
I not only have type 1 diabetes and many tattoos, but I am also a tattoo artist. Healing times may be a little longer for diabetics and make sure to follow the aftercare instructions. I have my aftercare instructions posted on my website. You can see them here http://sitekreator.com/pigmentpen/tattoo_aftercare.html
Also make sure you go to a reputable artist. There are a lot of tattoo shops out there that do not follow the proper sterilization techniques. Ask questions and make sure you feel comfortable with the tattooist. I have some information on my site about this as well. http://sitekreator.com/pigmentpen/getting_tattooed.html
I hope this helps.
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