How Much of Your Medical History Should Your Tattoo Artist Know?

How Much of Your Medical History Should Your Tattoo Artist Know?

If you’re not disclosing your medical conditions to your tattoo artist prior to your session, what your tattoo artist doesn’t know could seriously harm you. And, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the artist’s fault. If you have a medical condition or are on any kind of prescription medication, it is crucial that you disclose it to your artist before any tattoo or piercing procedure.

Now, you’re probably thinking it might not matter—plus, it’s your personal information, why do they need to know? While we understand if you’re not 100% comfortable disclosing medical information to your tattoo artist, you should know why it matters in the first place.

Prescription Medications to Disclose Before Getting a Tattoo

1. Acne Medications

You may not think of acne as being a major medical condition—it isn’t. But if you’re taking Accutane, Monomycin (or any other Tetracycline-related medication), or any other prescription drug for acne, you do not want to get tattooed. Prescription drugs for acne can cause skin to be hyper-sensitive.


Disclose all antibiotics to your tattoo artist, and discuss whether or not it’s safe to proceed. Anecdotally, some people have reported unusual skin reactions to tattoos when they were on antibiotics.

3. Blood Thinners

If you are taking any kind of medication to thin your blood, you’ll want to inform your artist beforehand, and probably also consult your doctor. Depending on the reason you’re taking the medication, it might not be wise to get tattooed, or it might just require shorter sessions.

1. Anti-Rejection Drugs:

If you have had an organ transplant and/or are on anti-rejection medication, getting a tattoo might not be in your best interest. Consult with your doctor first to determine if your overall health is strong enough to withstand the stress of getting tattooed and if your medications may interfere with the healing process.