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Tattoos and

Body Piercings

Different people have different thoughts on tattoos and piercings – some think they are cool and sexy while others worry what they will look like at 70! It’s really an 'each to their own' kinda thing.


Most people who are well and have good  control of their Type 1 have few risks from having  a tattoo or piercing just like everyone else.  However, if your blood glucose levels are high it may take longer to heal which could put you at risk of developing an infection. If your diabetes is not well controlled this may cause you a problem – body piercings are especially

problematic – infections needing skin grafts have been known!


Remember - seek help if you feel unwell or

you see any sign of infection and even though you might be tempted to get a  tattoo if you are under 18 or a piercing if you are under 16 (without parental consent) it is illegal. A reputable place will not do it!!

Know the risks!


Most people will have seen somebody with a piercing or tattoo, and these range from the weird and wonderful to the everyday. Any part of your body could be pierced or tattooed from your ear lobes to your eyebrows, tongue, cheek or even private parts.


Most people will have no problems whatsoever but for some people the risks are higher;


• There is a risk of infection at the site if the venue is not clean and you are unable to maintain good hygiene.


Medical Tattoos


Some people are using tattoos instead of medical ID jewellery, check out this video from Canada:

• If a needle or ink is not sterile there is a risk of getting Hepatitis B or C, HIV or other blood-borne illness. Tattoo shops are generally safe but this may not be the case if you are, say, at a festival.


• There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the substances used in the equipment and inks.


• There is a risk that you will change your mind after the tattoo is done. A tattoo is pretty permanent; having it removed is not an easy procedure.


• There may be swelling of the skin around the piercing.


• You may bleed a lot, especially in areas of the body with a lot of blood vessels such as the tongue.


• You may have scarring and the formation of keloid (a type of oversized scar).