If you are planning to get a new tattoo, you better change your drinking habits!
Tattoos have been a popular body art since ancient times. It is a symbol of self-expression or portrays the cultural significance of an individual. According to an estimate, 30% of all college graduates have tattoos. However, ink and alcohol don’t really go together so well!
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the fact that getting a tattoo after a drink or drinking after getting a tattoo can do serious harm to their bodies, like bleeding, a delayed healing process, and increased chances of severe infection. So, if you are planning to get a new tattoo, try to stay sober for at least 48 hours before and at least 2 weeks after.
Nowadays, you can find some amazing engineers, doctors, and pilots with full-body tattoos. Most women love tattoos on the ankle, while men prefer on the back shoulder. Some even emboss their partners’ names on their bodies to show their love and sincerity towards their significant ones. It is an art that makes you feel strong and attractive at the same time. You can call it a journey to personal growth and transformation.
So, why keep yourself away from something you love and something that truly represents you? Read the article to know how you can get a tattoo without putting your body in jeopardy and the risk associated with drinking alcohol in the process.
Blood, Booze and Body Art – The Effects of Alcohol on Body
You should be aware that getting a tattoo is not like a walk in the park. It is a painful process that takes hours. Ink is injected into the dermis layer of the skin, which may cause damage and swelling for a while.
While getting a tattoo, most people often think of drinking a cold beer immediately or running to a liquor shop as soon as they are done with their tattoo. At the same time, others go for a new tattoo after a full night of drinking. In both cases, your body suffers severe damage. Let’s check out why you should avoid alcohol at all costs before and after getting a tattoo.
Did You Know?
Alcohol acts as a blood thinner. Sounds good for a guy with heart-related issues but not so great for the tattoo guy. Since alcohol has a great tendency to make your blood thin, you might experience extra bleeding while getting a tattoo.
It can also affect the quality and overall appearance of your perfect tattoo by making the ink thinner and hard to get on the skin. The artist will also have a hard time carefully visualizing the tattoo and have to do it over and over again in the same area, as the skin keeps rejecting the ink. This may cause skin irritation and scarring.
Alcohol weakens the immune system. Alcohol is known for suppressing the immune system. Your wounds might take longer than usual to heal if you have taken a drink before or right after the tattoo process.
Alcohol lessens the number of white blood cells that, helps to fight off infections, and promotes healing. So you need to preserve all your healing ability for a tattoo that you and your artist have envisioned. Avoid drinking before and after the process, and let your body heal without any trouble.
Alcohol causes dehydration. Alcohol being a diuretic, can cause dehydration. Frequent visits to the washroom will only make the process more painful for you and irritable to the tattoo artist. Dehydration can lead to dry and flaky skin, making the tattoo more prone to cracking and scabbing and ultimately resulting in swelling and inflammation. This ruins the quality and overall appearance of the tattoo.
Alcohol can affect your decision-making process. Getting a tattoo should be a well-thought-out process. Alcohol consumption can impair your decision and make you make impulsive decisions.
You might choose a design that you will regret later and want to be removed permanently. In some cases, you might get the tattoo in the wrong place, which may not be ideal for your lifestyle or career. Under the influence of alcohol, your decision to choose the right tattoo artist will also be affected. Choosing a tattoo artist must be done logically.
You don’t wanna embarrass yourself. In addition, you don’t wanna end up puking all over the place and make the experience a disgusting one for everyone. A professional artist might even cancel your appointment if you show up drunk. A true tattoo artist will never compromise the quality of his work or put your body at risk.
Tattoo Healing 101: Tips to Care for your Tattoo
It is highly recommended to avoid alcohol after a long tattoo session. Your body, in its initial healing stage (around 2 weeks), may suffer serious complications when it comes to alcohol consumption. You need to follow the aftercare guide to make sure your tattoo looks great when fully healed.
- Do rely on an amateur to do the job. Pick a shop that has well-trained staff with sterilized equipment.
- To retain the vibrancy of the tattoo, follow the aftercare instruction provided by your tattoo artist. He may put in a healing ointment (antibiotic cream) and wrap your tattoo with a bandage. After you remove the covering in a few hours, you can wash your tattoo with mild soap and water. Avoid sunlight, and don’t get yourself soaked in water. This means- refraining from swimming.
- Everyone has different skin types. It is best to ask your skin care specialist whether you should apply a moisturizer or coconut oil or rely on dry healing.
- After 6-14 days, the redness will be reduced. Your skin might feel itchy. Avoid touching or scratching the tattoo as this may open the doors for bacterial infections and delay the healing process.
- Keep the tattoo clean and dry. If it gets in contact with excessive water, gently pat it with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing unconsciously.
- Avoid alcohol consumption. If you think alcohol can ease your pain, well… in reality, it’s quite the opposite. As discussed earlier in the article, there are serious health risks associated with drinking before and after getting a tattoo. You don’t wanna end up with a swollen tattoo that appears “ugly”. So, to play safe, it is recommended to pass on the booze for a few days.
- Keep your tattoo away from any unnecessary contact with water but do keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water so that your skin remains naturally hydrated.
- Keep an eye on the healing process and if you notice anything out of the ordinary or experience severe pain, immediately consult a skin specialist.
- Once you have passed your final stage of healing (after 2-4 weeks), you can now party with your friends without any worries. Cheers!
Combining Cocktails and Ink Responsibly
Now you know how important it is to avoid alcohol after a tattoo session. But even then, if you are unable to control your urge for a drink, keep the consumption at a moderate level. Try to stay sober for at least a week prior to getting your tattoo, as your love for a beer may ruin the final image of the tattoo.
Do follow the aftercare instructions given by your body art expert. Because it may be tempting to enjoy a cold cocktail after getting your tattoo but keep in mind it will slow down the healing process, and you may experience bleeding in your wounds.
Eat well, keep your body hydrated, follow the tips to care for your tattoo, and refrain from alcoholic beverages to enjoy your new tattoo confidently.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.