Can You Donate Blood If You Have Tattoo?

Are you considering getting a tattoo? Many people are increasingly accepting of the tattooing process, although some people have controversial and reserved opinions about the inking process. One of these reserved thoughts and prohibitions includes donating blood after getting a body tattoo.

Certain things can prevent you from becoming a blood donor, such as age, potential life situations, and events and illnesses such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV or AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseasesas well as some serious lung diseases. In some establishments, you may also not be allowed to donate blood if you have recently had a tattoo or piercing.

In this article, we will talk about permission to donate blood if you have a tattoo, as well as some regulations from institution to institution. Be sure to read the article, if you are a regular blood donor, but want to get into tattooing.

Tattoos and blood donation

Tattoos and blood donation
Registered tattoo

As you may know, when tattooing, your tattoo artist will use a tattoo needle to pierce your skin to shape and draw your tattoo. The tattooing process allows many bacteria living on your skin to get inside and potentially enter your bloodstream.

Among these bacteria, there could also be blood-borne pathogens that could spread through the blood and lead to certain sexually transitive diseases that you may not be aware of. This is why many hospitals and medical establishments, as well as blood donation establishments, had quite a strict policy regarding blood donation from tattooed people.

Even a famous football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, avoided getting a tattoo because he frequently donated blood.

As you may know, the healing process for a tattoo can take anywhere from two to six weeks and lead to skin infections if not properly followed up. The risk is only increased if you did not get a tattoo in a certified and regulated tattoo studio, but went to an unregulated tattoo artist who did not observe all hygiene rules when tattooing.

Yet many professional artists do their best to follow these rules and create a tattoo that will heal easily and as painlessly as possible, while advising their clients how to care for their tattoo so that it heals quickly and so that they can start giving blood again as soon as possible.

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In many countries, people with tattoos cannot donate blood for fear of potential infections that can be transmitted through blood that have been obtained through the tattooing process. Even in a tattoo-friendly country filled with various regulations, the process can be difficult, as people may go to cheaper places to get tattooed by a local who does not follow all the rules regarding tattooing, especially if they were going to a developing country.

There are different regulations regarding the right time to start donating blood after a tattoo. Below we will look at some regulations regarding tattooing and blood donation.

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What to know if you want to donate blood after getting a tattoo

Blood donation is charitable and people who practice it are highly valued and respected, especially if they have a blood type that is in high demand and necessary to save lives. Nevertheless, there are a few things you need to consider if you want to donate blood after donating blood.

Below we will list what you need to know before donating blood after getting a tattoo.

You may have to wait

Getting a tattoo is a fresh and exciting experience. Nevertheless, your skin suffers micro injuries when the tattoo needle penetrates your skin to outline the tattoo. This may prevent you from donating blood for a period of time, even if you were tattooed in a certified and registered tattoo studio in regulated states.

Some facilities in registered states of the United States of America will allow you to donate blood as soon as you complete the procedure, although we don’t think anyone is ready to donate blood immediately after getting a body tattoo. .

There are some facilities, which will make you wait a bit, for a given time of 3 to 7 days after getting tattooed. This is to make sure your wound heals and you didn’t catch any transmittable infections during tattoo times, even though the process was safe, your tattoo artist adhering to hygiene standards and you maintain the tattoo properly .

Although there are no regulations that will prevent you from donating blood after a certain period of time, we suggest that it is best to wait 7 days, so that you can rest properly and your tattoo wound heals. even a bit.

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Some states do not regulate tattoo facilities

Depending on where you got your tattoo, there are different times when you’ll have to wait before you can donate blood. In the United States, most states have regulatory agencies that can regulate and control tattoo studios and other tattoo facilities that provide inking services.

To this end, these regulators will verify that these facilities are using new ink and will replace the needles before applying it to their customers. However, that doesn’t mean tattoos done at all facilities are regulated, and chances are you’ll have to wait before you can donate blood.

Currently, 10 states do not regulate their tattoo facilities. They understand:

  • District of Colombia
  • Idaho
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Georgia
  • Utah
  • New Hampshire
  • Wyoming
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

What does that mean?

If you have been inked in any of the above states, you will need to wait at least 3 months before you can donate blood. The waiting time can be extended up to 12 months if any side effect or potential infection appeared after inking any part of your body.

Currently the 3 month waiting time as stated by the Red Cross.

Donate blood in Europe

In Europe, there are not certain regulations of tattoo facilities that provide inking services. However, according to Directive 2001/95/EC, general product safety requires that all products related to tattoo services are safe before being placed on the market.

What if you got a tattoo in prison?

People who get tattoos in prison go to a facility that provides legit tattoo services or apply the tattoos themselves will still have to wait at least three months before they can donate blood at some Red Cross facilities. .

You still can’t donate blood

Even if the tattooing process was performed in a regulated facility and the tattooing process goes well, you may still be prevented from donating blood or made to wait if you have any of the following conditions that affect you.

  • Anemia (blood deficiency means you are unable to donate blood, regardless of your tattoos)
  • You have had surgery recently. Even dental surgery can prevent you from giving blood for a while, usually 3 to 6 months.
  • You have caught a cold or you feel ill.
  • You have Hepatitis B or C which is very contagious and you can catch it during the tattoo process.
  • You have a bleeding disorder
  • Men who engage in sexual activity with other men.
  • You have traveled to a country with high disease activity and got a tattoo.
  • You have a sexually transmitted disease
  • Others…
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More FAQs

Donating blood with tattoos is generally safe. However, if you just got a new tattoo, you may have to wait a while in case your tattoo was done in an unregulated facility or you have a contagious blood-borne disease. . However, we have answered a few more questions regarding the tattoo process and blood donation after tattooing.

Q: Can I donate blood years after my last tattoo?

A: Simply put, you can. However, like everyone else, you will need to go for a blood donor screening to make sure your blood is not contaminated with a communicable disease.

Q: Can I donate blood right after getting a tattoo?

A: Getting a tattoo is often an exhausting and tiring process, so resting and letting your tattoo heal should be a necessity. Contact the bus or blood donation facility before you go to donate blood to make sure it’s safe before you leave.

Q: What if I learn that the establishment where I got my tattoo is not regulated by my state?

A: The only thing you can do is wait 3 months to 1 year. Before donating blood, you should do a blood test to make sure everything is in good condition, although this is often done during the donor screening process. If you want to stay up to date with blood donation facilities, be sure to follow here.

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