Can I donate blood with tattoos or not? Despite all the rumors around this topic, the answer is YES, you can donate blood with tattoos . The fact of having some type of tattoo does not have to suppose any type of impediment so that the person can donate blood, either for a specific intervention or voluntarily so that the hospital has reservations.
The basis of this controversy is linked to the fact that tattoos, like piercings, are interventions that, if not done under completely hygienic conditions , can be a source of infections. If the needle is not sterilized or if the ink used is directly from the same container as the one used to tattoo another person, it can lead to infections that are transmitted from one person to another and other problems. However, if the conditions that have been carried out are regulated and sanitary, there is no impediment to being able to donate, since the person is just as healthy as the rest. However, some aspects must be taken into account, as we will see below.
How long to wait to donate blood after getting a tattoo
However, tattooed people cannot donate blood right after getting tattooed. This guideline is not the same in all countries, so there is no universal time in which tattooed people can donate blood, but it depends on the regulation of each territory. Thus, while in Spain, for example, you must wait 4 months , in other countries you must wait up to 1 year. One of the few places that allows you to donate blood regardless of the waiting time is the United States.
However, this waiting time is important in terms of the health and quality of the donor's blood , since it is estimated that it is precisely from the fourth month when the type of diseases that can be transmitted in blood can be detected. blood and that, at the moment after tattooing, are undetectable. Thus, it is convenient to wait not only for the tattoo to have healed, thus ensuring that there is no infection in the skin and blood , but also to wait a few more months to be as sure as possible that there is no other problem. as a blood-borne infectious disease. Similarly, a blood donation will not be accepted from someone who currently has an injury to any part of the body.
Not only can an infection occur at the time of getting the tattoo if the conditions are not hygienic, but since it is a wound (superficial but still a wound), even if it is done perfectly in a tattoo studio with everything controlled At a health level, it can become infected during the healing period if the guidelines for cures are not carried out well and the area is not properly cleaned. Always follow the guidelines indicated by the tattoo artist regarding cures. Nonetheless, here are some tips on How to Heal an Infected Tattoo .
When can't you donate blood?
As we said, having tattoos is not a prohibition when it comes to donating blood, but it can cause us problems if we have not waited for the regulatory time in each country. In addition to this scenario, there are many others that must be taken into account when going to donate blood and that may lead to denial by health personnel.
These are some of the occasions in which it is not allowed to donate blood :
- Suffering from a chronic or serious illness: having HIV, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Hepatitis B or C or Epilepsy are some of the diseases that are not accepted to be a donor since they can be transmitted through it.
- Having an underlying infection: if at the time of wanting to donate blood you have some type of infection in your body such as gastroenteritis, pharyngitis, otitis, etc., the health workers will not be able to extract blood from you since it will not be optimal.
- Risky sexual intercourse: if in the last four months you have had any type of sexual intercourse without having used protection for STDs, you will be denied as a donor since your health status could not be guaranteed in the event of possible contagion.
- Traveling to risky countries: if you have recently traveled to countries considered to be at risk due to the existence of diseases that are not treated in your country, you will not be able to be a donor until a reasonable time has passed to determine your health status. These diseases can be: Yellow Fever, Malaria or Ebola among others.
- Taking medications: you will not be able to be a donor if you are currently regularly consuming certain types of medications as they can alter the composition of your blood. These medications can be: Antibiotics, Acne Treatments or Hormones.
Now that you know that people with tattoos can donate blood, although it is convenient to wait some time to ensure that they are healthy, you may be interested in reading these other articles on What to eat after donating blood and How often can you donate blood.