Tattoos and Alcohol: Should You Drink Before You Ink?

We know how important preparing for a tattoo can be and we often get questions about what is (and isn’t) a good idea when you are gearing up for your next tattoo appointment. One question that is often asked involves alcohol and what type of ramifications it can have on the tattoo experience. We thought we would break down some of those concerns today so that you are better prepared and informed. While it may be tempting to enjoy a drink to calm your nerves before getting tattooed, there are many reasons why most tattoo artists ask you to steer clear before getting a new tattoo.

  • Alcohol is a Blood Thinner: That’s right, alcohol reduces your platelet count by inhibiting the ability of your body to absorb vitamin B12, which is essential for normal platelet production. Platelets are small, colorless cells that allow your blood to clot following injury…and when you are getting tattooed, your skin is constantly receiving small new “injuries” along the way. Since we need platelets to help in clot formation and alcohol reduces this ability, it’s advisable not to drink alcohol for at least 24 hours leading up to your tattoo appointment.

  • Excessive Bleeding: This is an important factor, because a surplus amount of blood can make it harder for your tattoo artist to see what they are doing. Because tattoo artists want to be able to have unhindered visibility, this is another factor that can affect the accuracy, detail, and design of what your tattoo will look like in the end.
  • Acuity and Judgement: There’s no doubt that your ability to make decisions and arrive at your tattoo appointment with a clear mind will be affected by alcohol. Getting tattooed involves not only your tattoo artist’s expertise, but oftentimes your own discernment and choices when it comes to placement, size, and some aspects of the design. Since your tattoo will stay with you permanently, it’s a good time to be as aware as possible.
  • Influence on Mood and Behavior: While it’s true that alcohol can affect people differently in terms of mood and behavior, it’s important to remember that emotions can change as the effects of alcohol settle in. It’s also common to feel more restless after drinking, which can obviously be difficult for an artist to work with if a client is jittery. Not to mention that your uncontrolled behavior can be a burden to the tattoo artist and cause general awkwardness in the tattoo shop for other guests and artists. So, you should come to the tattoo session sober, clear-minded, and positive.
  • Effects on Healing: It’s important to remember that your body interprets a tattoo as a brand-new wound to the body and when your body is healing from an injury, it needs all the help it can get. Alcohol can impair the healing process and can also have a compromising effect on your immune system. Since skin is the largest organ in the body, anything that hinders the healing process should be carefully considered. It’s also important to look at the tattoo aftercare stage. Not only can MD WipeOutz tattoo towels help with keeping your tattoo clean without all the hassle, taking preventative measures that insure the easiest heal possible is a wise decision to make.

Since you are investing your time, money, and skin into the decision to get tattooed, view the process from a responsible and proactive mindset. Give your body and your mind the optimal chance at a positive tattoo experience, as well as smooth healing process. Once that tattoo is finished and you are on the road to recovery, celebrate your new ink with a rousing toast and enjoy your favorite drink, whatever that beverage may be.


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