Can You Drink Before/After Getting A Tattoo [Complete Guide]

We all get tattoos for specific reasons such as self-expression, artistic freedom, rebellion, sexual motivation, tradition, etc. It can be pretty unnerving for first-timers to know that getting a permanent tattoo is typically painful – aside from the public disapproval you may receive. It’s, therefore, normal for you to consider if you can drink before/after getting a tattoo to ease up the situation.

There’s nothing a bottle of beer or two can’t do to relieve you of some stress, yeah? Well, maybe not in all cases. It is without a doubt that alcohol tends to reduce or dismiss physical/emotional pains. Research has found that about 30 per cent of individuals that pass through chronic pain tend to alleviate themselves by consuming alcohol.

So, it makes sense that you consider getting some alcohol after a tattoo since it has a way of delivering a certain amount of relief. But how sure are you that there aren’t any side effects involved?

Can You Drink Before Getting A Tattoo?

Getting your tattoo, particularly for the first time, might be your most memorable experience. It is highly recommended that you refrain from drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo. Here are some reasons why:

Your Blood Vessels Become Thinned

When your blood vessels are too thin, it implies that you have inadequate platelets for blood clotting. This means that you can end up experiencing excessive bleeding and bruising. You should know that scientists have proof that reveals how alcohol consumption results in the temporary thinning of the blood vessels. Hence, your blood from bleeding during a tattoo process will take longer than normal to clot, resulting in bad results.

Your Increased Bleeding Affects Visibility

One of the consequences of thinned blood vessels is that, upon small punctures in your skin when getting tattooed, you’ll bleed abnormally, which affects the artist from getting a good view of your preferred design. The extra outpour of blood makes it difficult for the artist to see and get an accurate job done.

You Will Lose Your Composure

The process involved in drawing a tattoo on your body requires you to be as still as possible. When you’re intoxicated or have a hangover, it won’t be easy for you to remain calm while experiencing a stick and poke tattoo. This is because alcohol depresses your nervous system and makes you physically unstable. Such circumstances will give your tattoo artist a hard time leading to a low-quality imprint.

You May Be Dismissed by the Tattoo Artist

Even if you decide to ignore the reasons above why alcohol isn’t a good idea before your tattoo appointment, you will still get a ‘tattoo refusal’ if caught intoxicated. Visiting an expert tattoo artist for a design despite being drunk is a NO WAY situation. As usually included in a consent form that you’re required to fill, it invalidates any agreement between a tattoo artist and his/her intoxicated client.

Can You Drink After Getting A Tattoo?

Okay, I get it. Drinking before going for my tattoo appointment comes with its repercussions. Now, can I have a beer after getting a tattoo? I suppose getting tattooed shouldn’t mean I can no longer consume alcohol in the near future. Well,…

It Would Help If You Gave it Some Time:

Of course, just because you had to be sober before your tattoo engagement does not mean you must maintain sobriety  – or does it? Health experts advise that any person who gets a tattoo should avoid alcohol for about 2 to 3 days. This is because you may still have traces of bleeding after getting tattooed, and taking alcohol will cause thinner blood vessels, resulting in more bleeding.

The abnormal bleeding initiated from the alcohol occurs due to slower blood clotting/ delayed scabbing. The chances are that you become more prone to the risk of infections. You may even scar your tattoo as you lose your balance and stability after getting drunk on alcohol. That’s one of the worst things to happen to a newly-styled tattoo.

You Wouldn’t Want to Compromise the Healing Process:

After getting a tattoo, it takes about 2 to 3 weeks for the outer layer of your skin to heal. But you will have to wait much longer if you start drinking alcohol shortly past your tattoo appointment. You should also know that the 2-week healing process applies only to the epidermis (the visible part of your skin), while the skin beneath can take up to 6 months to heal completely.

Similarly, consuming alcohol affects the healing of your inner skin, which ends up taking longer time than expected. It is, hence, advisable that you refrain from drinking so that the stages for your body to recover after getting tattooed aren’t compromised.

What Else Should Be Noted When Getting A Tattoo?

Now that you’ve determined whether it’s still okay to do some tattoo drinking before/after an appointment, there are still some other vital things you should consider. Tattoos are permanent, and you’ll want to get the best experience without regrets. So, what else do you have to keep in mind?

Be Sure You Really Want This

Getting a tattoo such as a stick and poke method is something that leaves a mark on your skin forever. We’re not necessarily saying this to pressure you or anything, but having a tattoo shouldn’t be a decision you take lightly. It’s best to ponder well and even do some research about the subject before you make up your mind.

By weighing the pros and cons relative to your situation, you can either make your tattoo experience a pleasantly memorable one or a “scarring” regret. You can also do tattoo removal, though, but it will cost you some pain and good money.

Select Your Design

The style or design you choose to draw on your body is wholly dependent on you. Usually, people like to imprint something that demonstrates a feeling or expression, something meaningful. Your preferred design should not be a thing you rush into. Take some time to do some research, except if you want to rely on your tattoo artist’s skills for that.

If you intend to seek a recommendation from the stylist, make sure you go to an expert in a notable tattoo studio. The type of tattoo and the artist’s skills should match, especially if you’re describing an abstract design.

Determine the Part of Your Body Getting Tattooed

The placement of your tattoo on your body is almost as important as getting the right design. Is it a tattoo you’d like to be easily visible or concealed on one or more parts of your body? You should reckon some delicate areas where driving a sharp object into your skin will be much less pleasant. Parts of the body that have little flesh tend to hurt more.

Another thing about tattoo placements is the size of your design. Going for a larger size means you’ll undergo more sessions which invariably brings more pain and cost.

Use the Best Studio Near You

Tattoos are generally costly, even if you only want a tiny ladybug on your toe. But for your first experience, particularly, you should visit a famous tattoo studio accessible to you. Of course, the services there are supposedly pricey – don’t even consider bargaining. It’s rather conventional that you still tip the artist. However, rest assured that you’ll get the finest treatment from a pro with all the necessary and helpful tools.

It’s okay to check online for the best tattoo shops you can visit. Try looking for reviews (remarks and photographs) that describe the shop’s experience, professionalism, cleanliness, and pricing.

What Are Some Good Practices For The Healing Process?

Avoiding alcohol is one major way to aid your tattooed skin’s healing process, but there are other practices you can include to have a better experience. Generally, one can break down the healing process into three stages:

First/Second Week:

Initially, it is typical for your tattooed skin to feel itchy and flaky as it’s still fresh. You will be tempted to scratch the affected skin area, but you mustn’t; otherwise, you’ll ruin the tattoo. The itchiness exists as a result of your inflamed skin that’s working to recover the tissues.

Third/Fourth Week:

You’ll feel less urge to scratch yourself at this stage as the itchiness should have reduced or stopped. However, you may still experience a chronic itching sensation during this period which suggests an early sign of infection. A layer of skin will form over the tattooed region, making your design appear a little dull. But that’s expected because exfoliation will occur afterwards and reveal a more vibrant tattoo.

Second – Sixth Month:

The itchiness should cease to continue by this time with no more traces of redness or inflammation. It’s still advisable, though, that you engage in some aftercare routines, which include:

  • Minimizing exposure. New tattoos react easily to sunlight, making the tattoo’s appearance fade over time. Try covering or concealing your fresh tattoo under loose clothing.
  • Never replace the bandage. Once you’ve taken off the bandage after the removal time, you don’t have to replace it for any reason throughout the healing process. This is because the tattoo needs enough oxygen to heal.
  • Clean up the tattooed area. Clean your tattoo at least twice daily with lukewarm water, accompanied by a fragrance/alcohol-free body soap. Ensure you also use a neat paper towel to dry up gently.
  • Avoid excess water. Asides from the wetting with lukewarm (sterile) water, do not allow your tattoo to have a long-term moist quality. It is recommended that you avoid swimming for the first two weeks after getting tattooed.
  • Mind the products you apply. It is imperative that you refrain from using scented soaps or lotions on your tattoo. This may require switching to a non-fragrant shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. The ingredients in fragrant products react upon contacting your tattoo’s ink.
  • Use specific ointments. Normally, your artist will recommend some products containing vitamins A and D, lanolin, and petroleum. You should avoid applying thick products like Vaseline creams except instructed otherwise. After some days, you may use a light moisturizer or coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Drink Two Days After Getting a Tattoo?

The commonly recommended period you must wait before consuming alcohol is 2 to 3 days after your tattoo appointment. This is because alcohol causes an unfavorable reaction to your blood when injecting the ink into your skin. So, it’s pretty much okay to drink 2 days after getting your tattoo, as traces of blood would have stopped oozing out by then.

 2. Can You Drink 24 Hours Before Getting a Tattoo?

You mustn’t drink at least 24 hours before getting tattooed. Many reasons include the risk of thinning your blood vessels, suggesting excessive bleeding during your tattoo session. You need to keep your body sober a day before your appointment and maintain your composure with a clear head.

3. How Long Does it Take for a Tattoo to Heal?

The healing process of your tattoo begins right after your last tattoo session and takes a couple of weeks to heal totally. Depending on your discipline towards maintaining/enhancing your skin’s recovery from getting tattooed, you should heal full-time in about 2 to 6 months.


We believe the question, “Can I drink after having a tattoo?” or “Is drinking after tattoo or before my appointment okay?” is adequately discussed in this article with helpful explanations. It shouldn’t hurt if you have to do without taking alcohol for a certain period, even though it can be so tempting in a commonly anxious event like getting a tattoo. Be sure you’re prepared for the process as you brace up to create a remarkable memory!

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