View Full Version : Lupus and tattoos

09-01-2006, 08:59 PM
I have been wanting a tattoo for a while, and went in for a consultation with the artist today. He wants me to double check with my rhuemy or family doctor and make sure that it is ok to get one. What do you guys think? :?:

09-01-2006, 09:50 PM
Hi! I'm new here but wanted to give my input. I am just now beign diagnosed with UCTD (but being treated for lupus) and I have tatoos and plan on getting more so I dont' see any reason against it except for maybe the immune issue. But I am also a type I diabetic and have been since age 12 and got my tattoos and still healed well. So the healing may be the issue.


09-05-2006, 01:05 PM
I have a tatoo. I checked the place out prior to getting the tatoo and was pleased to see that the tatoo parlor looked like a doctor's office. The artists used brand new needles (disposable) for each customer, they wore rubber gloves (which they changed each time they tatooed a customer) and they cleaned and disenfected their work area after each customer. So, essentially, I don't think that it could get much safer than that!!

Best Of Luck

09-06-2006, 01:37 PM
Okay, I confess, I have 15 or 16 tattoos, which I have gotten in various places all over the world (thanks to the Navy moving us so much).

Anyway, I have gotten three of my tattoos in the last year, since I have gotten really sick, but before my dx of Lupus. The last two, when I was getting really frustrated about being sick for no known reason, were the Chinese symbols for Health and Serenity. I was hoping the tattoos would bring me some of those things!

Here is my suggestion to you, based on my experiences. As Saysusie pointed out, there are some really good tattoo shops, that use disposable needles, disinfect their surfaces and equipment between each and every customer, and will be happy to discuss and show you all of those techniques before you ever discuss a tattoo with them. If you go to a shop that won't, walk out the door. For a good idea of what a clean shop should look and act like, watch a couple episodes of the show "inked" on A&E.

Also, make sure that you start small, and follow all of your artist's directions for care and cleaning after the fact. If you show any signs of infection, if it really hurts for more than a couple of days after, or if it gets red and hot, go back to the artist and have him look at it and then probably to your doctor. With Lupus, your body is more prone to infection.

Other than that, I say go for it. But remember this, make sure you are IN LOVE with whatever design you choose, because you are stuck with it. And remember that it is kind of addictive.....

- Peach

09-11-2006, 05:52 AM
8) THE BIGGEST threat togetting a tatoo is un-sanitary conditions and the possibility of contracting HEPATITIS C, which I am a carrier of and almost died from....as unlike other forms of HEP it is a silent killer.

It does NOT show jaundice, or make you fatigued.....they do several blood tests and come up what is called NON A- NON B HEP NOW know as HEP C

I was lucky as when it was found in my system INTERFERON was just discovered and I was put on it as a trial medication, and had to sing a many a release to be able to get it.

After getting a BIOPSY done by the amount of damage to the specemin they were able to tellhow long I was carrieng the disease.

They pin pointed it to when I was overseas and I did get several CHEAP tatoos at that time....so that's 99% chence that is hen I contracted it or when I was doing graveyeard registration in NAMN and touching rotting bodies it was then transferrred to me.....

I personally think it was the CHEAP TATOO PARLORS........
When one can get a tatoo that covers your entire shoulder for 7 bucks cleanlinesss is not exactly there fist motive....
They need the cash and there are plenty of GI's willing to take the chance....we're already being shot at so how worse could getting a tatoo be????
I found out MUCH WORSE !!!!

I had to inject myself sub-cutaneously with 5 million units every other day and went from 175 lbs to 107lbs.....

I was within inches of death and then they said they are finding DEAD cancerous cells within my liver.
I guess GOD was not ready for me because at that time 1989 I was given less than 6 months to live and I am still here and the HEP C is still inremission.

BUT on the other side I have LOST many a friend to HEP C due to THE FDA putting rules on the amount they now give people to inject.....

My friend was diagnosed with it and was given INTERFERON ,but only 300,000 units daily along with someother drug that starts with a R???

Well he was gone in less than 5 months, BUT I will admit that the doctors said what helped me the most was the fact that I barely ever drank LIQUOR and that made my liver psychirossis free.

The liver is the ONLY organ that can re-juvenate itself if treated correctly....
This is another fatal disease that I also volunteer to talk to people with it.....but alot of them are also DRUG ADDICTS/ ALCOHOLICS and if you continue to live that life staye you also continue to kncock down your immune system and thus allowing the HEP C to maifest faster and eventually SHUT DOWN.....which means DEATH.


09-12-2006, 11:20 AM
this is so wierd because at my ripe old age of 55, I want a tatoo!!!
I have NEVER had one and for some reason I have been thinking of this for a few months now.

I'm not even sure where?? in a big way, I DO want it to show, so I want to pick something with a message......

09-12-2006, 01:18 PM
I say "Go For It"...I am thinking about getting a second tatoo: a row of ladybugs on my ankle (my daughter's pet name was Ladybug). They say, once you get one tatoo, you will want more :lol: Apparently, there is a lot of truth to that!!

Peace and Blessings

09-12-2006, 01:26 PM
Now I'm feeling really ready to do it !!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm just still wanting to think VERY carefully what I want to display.
I think it should be a statement that my years of experiences and feelings want to say !!!!


My 32 yr. old daughter thinks I'm loosing it!!!
because I'v always been 'sort of straightline' and would NEVER consider a tatoo!!!! :)

09-12-2006, 03:19 PM
I am also getting one this year and my doctor has said she would put me on antibiotics for a few days during the tattoo process because I'm on chemo. So, you may want to talk to them first - mine did not disagree at all, but they want to see me to make sure it is healing well with no infection.

If you trust the place, check out their references and check with others you may know that were tattooed by the person you are going with but most of all, make sure your doc is aware because if you are on immune suppressing drugs, you may need to take antibiotics to ensure you don't get infected.

Also, make sure the needles are surgical steel etc and don't have nickel in them (even 5%) - I don't know personally about that but I have heard of people having allergic reactions if they are allergic to nickel - you would know that if you can only wear earings or jewelery for example that is high concentration of gold or silver and not cheapy earings - I thought that was a good point.

09-12-2006, 03:41 PM

Really good advice!!! I think the idea of being on an anti-biotic for a few days is right on track.

altho, my dr. is going to wonder "WHAT???'" like my daughter, my husband has stopped ASKING questions anymore, he just attempts to support me with WHATEVER strange ideas I come up with :lol:

Oh well, how come so many of us are thinking of tatoos?????

I'm actually thinking of a 'wolf' sort of to symbolize the huge changes in my life the last few years ??????

10-16-2006, 11:02 AM
I gor my first and only tattoo about 5 years after my son was born...(counting back now...my age was 35 then.) I was VERY careful about how clean the shop was, and my Lupus back then was not very active, but I was still very selective. I wanted one because I had worked VERY hard to get my stomach back in shape (a baby at age 30, after a 10 year hiatus from my daughter at 20)...lots and lots of crunches...
Anyhow, I got a tiny rose...
Only now, almost 20 years later...it's turned into a CABBAGE! Ahhhh, the joys of age and Prednisone....

10-16-2006, 01:04 PM
I was wondering about that too?

When you gain weight, what happens to the tatoo????
does it stretch???????


10-16-2006, 01:38 PM
Hi Laura07,

I just booked my consultation. I'm excited to get mine. I have spoken to my docs and they are okay. They want my blood to be checked before and after, they want me on antibiotics for three days during the process and they want me to check in with them a week after I get it done.

Please keep me posted as to what your docs say and when you get it!! Mine will be about a month away.

10-16-2006, 04:08 PM
I've got two tats, and I agree with what everyone else has said, that as long as you go to a place that is clean and professional, you should have no trouble. One thing I don't think I saw mentioned and what my artist told me, is that certain shades of ink come from plants that some people may be allergic to. He told me that if I AM allergic to it, the tat might cause problems with permanant swelling and itching wherever that colour ink was laid.
The colour he pointed out specifically was this purplish-red ink that I liked alot, which I ended up going for, and never had a single problem with, thank goodness.
I've had both of my tats for over 10 years, and they're still both in great shape, just as bright and pretty as the day I got them.
I make sure they are always moisturized and keep them out of the sun.
I followed the artist's instructions exactly for care; keep the tat clean and dry, put some topical antibiotic ointment on it for about a week, and if it itches don't scratch it! Just lightly slap it instead, which really works to get rid of the healing itch without damaging the skin.

Anyway, I hope if you decide to get one that you really love it and have a blast getting it!

10-17-2006, 10:25 AM
WELL---- I had an appointment this morning with my rheumy.

I mentioned about getting a tattoo!!!! WOW, did he ever explode!!!

He said that that idea was about the stupidest thing he has ever heard coming from a person with lupus. Why, he said would I risk a blood infection and skin infection with a compromised immune system!!! all for the sake of skin infested dyed ink?????

with a little decoration????

He said he was sure I could come up with another "slightly over" (midlife crisis thing ) that would not possibly harm my condition even more.

I have a good repore with him so he can be really honest with me without my feelings getting hurt, AND THAT he did!!!!!!


10-17-2006, 01:49 PM

GO FOR IT! I love mine...it's like I am wearing jewelry even when I'm not wearing anything.

As for the stretching part...when I first got it, it was a tiny rosebud. As I have gained weight (about 30 lbs) it became a fully grown rose! Not ugly at all...just a sign of maturity.

Have fun, girl!

10-17-2006, 02:01 PM
I don't know now,

My Dr. really scard me today, he said he is not against them in certain cases; just felt it was too much of a risk with the lupus, I also dO have the skin issues with my lupus( which we JUST got a grip on ) taking 5 mg. daily of prednizone.

I am probably NOT going to do it now :( :( :( :(


10-17-2006, 02:22 PM
Wow...that doesn't sound to me like a very professional thing for a doctor to say to a patient AT ALL.
It's your body, and alot of what he said sounds to me like it's coming from a personal place, not a medical place.
He should not let his own personal views on tattoos bleed into his advice, and I think he did.
He didn't say anything that sounds to me like a valid medical reason for not doing it...if you go to a clean and professional tattoo parlour, you are NOT risking infection any more than you are when you go to your doctor and sit in the waiting room and suck in everyone else's germs.
Wanting to do this does NOT mean you are having a midlife crisis, and it was terribly rude of him to say that.

It was really good of you to come to him and ask his advice and be open with him about this idea, and for him to call it the "stupidest thing he has ever heard coming from a person with lupus" is just cruel.
How are you supposed to feel open about discussing things with him in the future if you're afraid he's going to dismiss your question as stupid?
What a wanker.
If it was me, I'd find a new doctor, but I'm ornery that way.


10-17-2006, 02:24 PM
LOL! Oops, I guess I wrote a bad word.

You get my drift, though.

10-17-2006, 02:29 PM
I do like him; I guess you have to know him, I understand the way he talks, it's not a mean way, he isn't AGAINST tattoos, he just feels it's not something I should be experimenting with and he probably is right!!

I have known him a long time, so I didn't take the statement " the stupidest thing" offensively. :) :)


10-17-2006, 08:47 PM
Hi Stardust,

I understand your concerns and your doctor's concerns but I did talk to mine and she said I'd probably catch a dangerous infection from swimming in a public pool or going on my annual Mexican vacation over the tattoo but we are taking extra caution.

If it is a whim or a "midlife crisis" to you and not important but if this is something you REALLY want, like me, I would hope that he would try to find a way to be supportive of you medically and as a professional.
I wouldn't go out and find a new doctor but I would absolutely ask if there is a way to do it if it is important to you enough to really really want it.

Some people don't "get" tattoos and why people get them. They do think of it as a decoration of sorts when sometimes it is a reminder of our strengths or things we need to remember, sometimes it is to mark a milestones or to remember someone important - some people don't really get that at all. I do.

I trust my doctor too and if she told me there was no chance, like she has told me about having children, I do listen to her and perhaps your doc knows your case better, but I have asked and will continue to ask for second opinions from time to time just to be sure if it is important to me. It never hurts as, remember it is YOUR life and YOUR body. They are there to help make your life better, not make your decisions for you.


10-18-2006, 04:46 AM
You make a good point Jen!

I do have the skin issues REALLY bad and I bruise EXTREMELY easily, Even if I bump myself , I end up with a nasty bruise.

I think all the"fun" of it has passed. :(
Oh well, if this was the worse bad news I ever get,WOW!!!!!!!
Time for me to move on :) :) :)


10-18-2006, 08:29 AM
For sure, you see I don't have skin issues so it is okay for me, you do, so therefor it wouldn't be okay for you.

I'm glad you listened to your doctor then! I'll let you know how mine goes though - biting my nails - hehe.

People often jump to the "get rid of your doctor" when they disagree with you, use your own judgement at that point because we are only reading a snipit of your story whereas they have a whole chart.