Is it Safe to Get a Piercing or Tattoo If I'm Sick?

The Argument for Waiting Until You're Feeling Better to Get Pierced or Tattooed

While it may be perfectly legal to get a piercing or a tattoo when you're sick, there are a few reasons to consider waiting until you're feeling better. If you're really sick to the point of not wanting to get out of bed, then it's obvious that you wouldn't want to get a body piercing or tattoo. But what if you're starting to get better or just have a simple cold or hay fever? At what point is it physically safe for you to get pierced?

And when is it OK to get a tattoo?

If you have any kind of communicable disease or infection, consult your healthcare provider about whether or not to get a piercing or tattoo. You don't want to compromise your immune system, and you don't want to infect someone else (as rare as that might be). 

Getting a piercing or tattoo when your immune system isn't at 100 percent isn't a good idea, even if you only have a cold or the flu. Any time you're sick or have a wound, it creates an immune system response, meaning that your body sends out white blood cells, antibodies, proteins and other bodily "soldiers" to wage war on whatever is causing the problem, be it bacteria, virus, or even something you're highly allergic to.

The more your immune system has to fight, the harder it has to work and the more thinly spread out the soldiers become. If you're already fighting one thing, you don't want to purposely invite more trouble for your body to deal with.

Passing on Your Illness

Here's another argument against getting a new piercing or tattoo when you're sick: It's very inconsiderate to bring your illness into the tattoo/piercing studio and risk passing the germs onto others, particularly your artist. They would much rather you cancel and reschedule your appointment than give them an illness that could make them lose income by not being able to go to work.

How far out should you reschedule your appointment? Is a week enough time to get over a cold? Once you start feeling better, that doesn't mean your immune system is up and running at full efficiency. While sick we usually don't get sufficient rest, don't take in proper nourishment, and exhaust our bodies with excessive sneezing, coughing, vomiting, etc.

It takes a while for our bodies and immune systems to get back to normal after a period of illness. The first step toward a healthy body is proper nourishment, so start/keep taking your vitamins but also eat a balanced diet. Lack of sufficient calories and/or too much sugar weakens the immune system all by itself.

Also, get moving. If you can't walk a mile without being winded, your body isn't up to par. Eating well, drinking plenty of water and being able to walk a mile with ease are good signs that your body is healthy and able to withstand a blow to the immune system. Sometimes this can take a while, even after "just a cold," so when rescheduling your appointment, give yourself at least two or three weeks. It's worth the wait and your body will thank you.