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Is it safe for a diabetic to get a tattoo?

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Sometimes we want to preserve our memories by getting a tattoo. But if you have diabetes and think about memorizing something meaningful or fun by putting it on your skin, you probably have a lot of questions: “is it possible to get a tattoo when you are T1D? Are there any contraindications? What about the healing period?”.

Living with Type 1 diabetes does not mean you can’t get tattooed. However, there are some precautions to avoid some complications you may face. The first thing you should do if you want to get inked is to talk to your doctor and inform your tattooist that you have diabetes. If you manage your diabetes properly, there will be no risks for healing. Chronic hyperglycemia could however lead to delayed healing. Follow the recommendations that will be given to you by your doctor and at the tattoo parlor. After getting a tattoo you should carefully monitor the signs of infection like redness, heat, pain. Make sure your skin is hydrated and protected with a bandage.

It is advisable to avoid tattoos on the shins, ankles and feet as much as possible, as well as your insulin injection areas, as they may be more difficult to heal. While getting a tattoo your blood sugar can drop due to released adrenalin, so just have some snacks with you. And remember, even though diabetes is a part of your life, don’t let it stop you from living!