Blood Donation

Tattoos and Blood Donation

Can people with tattoos donate blood?

Yes, people who have undergone body art procedures (tattoos) or have body piercings can surely donate blood but only after a specific period of time and once you meet certain established regulations. As per the World Health Organization guidelines, one is eligible to donate blood only after a year of getting a tattoo. Blood donation regulations for individuals with tattoos differ across different geographic locations. In the UAE, one will have to wait for 12 months to donate blood after being tattooed. The donated blood always undergoes further testing in order to rule out possibilities of any blood borne illness or infections.

Why people with tattoos less than a year old are not permitted to donate blood?

Healthcare facilities deny blood donation to those whose tattoos are less than a year old in order to make sure that the tattoo has had enough time to heal. Although getting a tattoo is not legally fined or punishable in the UAE, it is still not widely accepted because it is considered self-harm religiously. It is important to get a tattoo from a legally authorized place since because otherwise it can put you at the risk of contracting illness. The tools, needles that the parlor uses may not be sterilized and can cause various skin diseases and severe blood borne diseases like, Hepatitis and even HIV.

A waiting period will allow the tattoo to heal completely as any reactions would occur within the first 6 months. The blood you donate is used to treat chronically ill patients and requires to be well tested and free of infections.

What are the common health risks caused by tattoos?

Skin infections, scarring and inflammations are the most common side effects of tattoos. Most tattoos generally heal within a few weeks if it is well taken care of. Dryness and itchiness around the tattoo is common since it is in the process of healing. However, prolonged swelling and pain indicates and infection. Skin bumps, swabs, sores etc. may also be caused as a result of an infection.

If the instrument used to tattoo is contained with infected blood or the needle used is not sterile, there is a high possibility of contracting a blood borne disease like Hepatitis B or C. In some cases people with certain existing medical conditions can also develop a reaction to tattoos. While others with sensitive skin or allergy prone are allergic to colored tattoo ink and should refrain from getting it done.

In all cases, any reaction that tends to persist for long will need to be consulted with a healthcare professional before the symptoms worsen. Depending on the symptoms manifested they would be able to recommend the best suited treatment option.

What precautions to take while getting a tattoo?

  • The first and the foremost step is to identify a hygienic, well established parlor or artist to do your tattoo. Make sure to inform them of any allergies of infections that you are prone to.
  • Make a visit before you get your tattoo to ensure that the place is clean and the artists follow hygienic techniques while tattooing.
  • Speak to the tattoo artist and understand the precautions you need to take to allow the tattoo to heal completely and follow them well in order to avoid complications.
  • Visit a Doctor without delay upon noticing any unusual complications or infections.


Dermatologist in DSO


Dr. Anuj Taneja, 

Specialist Dermatologist

Aster Clinic, Silicon Oasis





News Source : Gulf Today   ( )



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