Dealing With Diabetes & Tattoos


Tattoos, which involve using needles to inject ink beneath the skin, are a very popular form of body art. You don’t have to get a tattoo if you have diabetes. However, you should be well before you decide to have one done.

For example, high blood sugar levels can slow down healing and increase the chance of infection. It is important to maintain healthy blood pressure. While your tattoo is being applied, your blood sugar may increase. This process can be painful and time-consuming. They should be back to normal within the next day.

Before getting a tattoo, there are other things you should consider:


You can apply permanent body art to almost any part of your body.

There are some areas that diabetics should avoid, including those with poor circulation.

  • Buttocks
  • Shins
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Common sites for insulin injections include the arms, abdomen, and thighs.

These places are more difficult to heal than others and can result in complications such as infection.


Most tattoo designs are based on something that is meaningful or important to the person. This could include clear medical symbols or text that indicates the condition. These “diabetes tattoos” have been quite popular in recent years. Many diabetics use them to replace their medical jewelry and as a permanent way of identifying their diabetes.

Tattooist Quality

Before you proceed with your tattoo, ensure that the tattoo studio is licensed and accredited. You can reduce the chance of problems with tattoo applications by researching the reputation of the company and its safety and hygiene practices. If you plan to get a tattoo at a festival, this research is especially important.

Safety And Awareness

Let the tattooist know if you have diabetes so they can adjust the procedure and provide aftercare information to suit your needs.

Know The Risks

There are two main dangers to getting a tattoo:

  • Allergy reactions – You may experience an allergic reaction to inks or equipment.
  • Skin infection – Infected skin can occur if equipment and studio are not cleaned properly or aftercare is not given.
  • Scarring – Tattoo application can result in an oversized scar, known as a Keloid. This can be irritating and slightly painful.
  • Blood-borne diseases – If the ink or tattoo needle has not been sterilized, you could be at risk for blood-borne infections such as HIV or Hepatitis C.
  • Wound healing – An abnormally high level of blood glucose can delay the healing of tattooed skin and increase the chance of infection.
  • You can change your mind – removing a tattoo is more difficult and more costly than getting one done. Before you proceed, make sure that you are completely confident about the plan.

You should immediately seek medical attention if you feel unwell after your tattoo is completed.

The Future Of Nanotechnology Tattoos And Diabetes

Tattoos may soon be a faster, more accurate, and easier way for diabetics to monitor and control their blood sugar levels. Scientists at Draper Laboratory (American) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a skin-borne continuous glucose monitor. It is made up of a ‘tattoo of’ tiny nanotechnology ink particles that are sensitive to glucose concentrations.

What Is The Working Principle Of Nanotechnology Tattoos?

The ink is injected under the skin and will fluoresce when it meets glucose. The nano-tattoo’s wristwatch would detect fluorescence and monitor blood glucose levels.

This post was written by J Michael Taylor. J Michael Taylor is an artist and owner of Black Amethyst Tattoo Gallery. Looking for Tattoo shops in St petersburg Florida? Black Amethyst has you covered! They provide an art-first approach to custom tattooing in a gallery setting.

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