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To Drink or Not to Drink: Can you get a tattoo after a drink? What about after?

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Getting a tattoo is an exciting experience, and it’s important to take proper care of your tattoo to ensure it heals properly. Many people wonder if they can drink alcohol before or after getting a tattoo. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of alcohol on the tattooing process and discuss the best practices for drinking before and after getting a tattoo.

To Drink or Not to Drink

Can you drink before getting a tattoo?


It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo. Alcohol thins the blood, which can increase bleeding during the tattooing process. Increased bleeding can make it more difficult for the tattoo artist to work, leading to a lower-quality tattoo. Additionally, alcohol can impair your judgment and make you more likely to make impulsive decisions about your tattoo design or placement. If you want to ensure the best possible outcome for your tattoo, it’s best to avoid alcohol in the hours leading up to your appointment.

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Can you drink after getting a tattoo?


After getting a tattoo, it’s important to take proper care of the area to ensure it heals properly. Many people wonder if they can drink alcohol after getting a tattoo. The short answer is no. It’s recommended to wait, especially in the first 24-48 hours, to prioritize healing and allow your body’s natural strength to bring your design to life!

Alcohol can have several negative effects on the healing process, including:

  1. Delayed healing: Alcohol can slow down the healing process by dehydrating your body and reducing blood flow to the affected area. This can prolong the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

  2. Increased risk of infection: Alcohol weakens your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Additionally, alcohol can dry out the skin, making it more vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens.

  3. Irritation and inflammation: Alcohol can cause irritation and inflammation in the tattooed area, which can be painful and uncomfortable. This can also increase the risk of scarring and other complications.

  4. Fading or distortion of the tattoo: Alcohol can affect the pigment in the tattoo, causing it to fade or distort over time. This can make the tattoo look less vibrant and less attractive.

For these reasons, it’s best to avoid alcohol for at least the first 24-48 hours after getting a tattoo, however, practitioners recommend longer for maximum results and health benefits. During this time, your body works hard to heal the tattoo, and any additional stress or strain can impede the healing process. After the initial healing period, you can gradually reintroduce alcohol into your routine, but it’s still important to be mindful of the potential risks.

Best practices for drinking before and after getting a tattoo

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If you do decide to drink before or after getting a tattoo, there are some best practices you can follow to minimize the risks and ensure the best possible outcome for your tattoo.

  1. Drink plenty of water: To counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol, it’s important to drink plenty of water before and after your tattoo appointment. This will help keep your body hydrated and promote healthy blood flow to the tattooed area.

  2. Limit your alcohol intake: If you do decide to drink, it’s important to limit your alcohol intake. Stick to one or two drinks at most, and avoid drinking heavily before or after your appointment.

  3. Wait at least 24-48 hours after getting a tattoo: To give your body the best chance to heal properly, it’s recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours before drinking alcohol. This will give your body time to start the healing process and reduce the risk of complications.

  4. Be mindful of your tattoo placement: If you’re planning to drink after getting a tattoo, be mindful of the placement of your tattoo. If your tattoo is in a location that is likely to come into contact with alcohol (such as your hands or feet), be extra cautious and avoid excessive drinking.

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