Can you drink alcohol before a new tattoo?

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After a long session, a drink could be exactly what you need. But consuming alcohol before and after a new tattoo is not the best idea, and could impact how your new piece heals. 

Alcohol thins your blood

Alcohol thins your blood, which can make the tattooing process trickier for your artist, and can worsen your healing too. Excess blood while you are being tattooed could mean more ink gets pushed out of your skin, leaving you with a lackluster tattoo. 

Bleeding a lot while you are being tattooed just makes the experience that much harder too. Losing blood can make you feel faint, and you probably won't be feeling too great anyway while under the needle, why make it worse?

This doesn’t always happen, and more experienced artists may have no trouble in producing a great tattoo even with excessive bleeding, but it’s best to avoid it if possible.  

You will probably be turned away

Aside from all the issues it could cause for your tattoo, the likelihood is if you turn up to your appointment half cut, any reputable artist will turn you away. Your abilities to make a good decision will be diminished, and you making a poor choice could reflect on the artist. It’s their work at the end of the day, and they want to avoid someone kicking off a week later about a design that their sober self dislikes. 

The consent form you sign before your tattoo could also be rendered invalid if you are drunk, and as the artist is liable here, they will no doubt want to avoid this. You probably won’t be getting your deposit back for the appointment; you messed up here.

Drinking afterwards could impact how your tattoo heals

When it comes to drinking after your tattoo, your blood will still be thinned and it may hamper your healing abilities. After getting tattooed, blood and plasma will usually leak from the tattoo to a certain extent, but after necking a few pints you might find yourself dripping a bit too much. It gets messy, and could again push ink out of your tattoo before it has settled properly, resulting in a faded result. 

Thinned blood could also make it harder for your body to scab the new wound, meaning the healing will begin as soon as it should. All of this could impact the way your new tattoo looks at the end of the healing process, so it’s best to give it a good start. 


Drunken behaviour could ruin your new tattoo

It also goes without saying, try not to get smashed after getting a new tattoo. Stumbling about town is not conducive to good healing, and if you scrape your new piece badly you could scrape it clean off. You need to be aware of keeping your tattoo clean and dry while it is fresh, so a night out might not be the best option.

It’s generally recommended that you wait at least 48 hours after your new tattoo before you start drinking alcohol again. One beer with a meal probably won’t cause much damage, but why not just wait and give yourself the best results possible? 

Take it easy and heal up well

You need rest, good food and hydration after a new tattoo to heal it well, alongside a good aftercare routine. Check out our other blogs on what to eat to heal your tattoo, and our guide on the best aftercare routine for your new ink.