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More on tattoos and diabetes

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We’ve had several discussions here over the years about whether tattoos are safe for diabetics. ¬†There really is no set answer to the question, since there are far too many variables. The size of the tattoo, the skill of the artist, the ability of the diabetic to keep his or her blood sugar under good control–all of those can play a huge part in whether any individual diabetic is going to be OK with a tattoo.¬†And, unfortunately, there really is no way to tell in advance what’s going to happen.

I got my first tattoo two years before my diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes, and the other two tattoos afterwards. I had problems with the third tattoo, a reaction to the red ink, but that could have happened to a perfectly healthy person too. For me, the answer is ‘Yes, you can have diabetes and get tattooed.” I can’t give an answer for anyone else but me.

I just got this month’s issue of Diabetes Forecast, the official publication of the American Diabetes Association (and if you’re a diabetic, it’s well worth signing up so you can get the magazine). On the cover was a heavily tattooed basketball player named Gary Forbes. According to the story, he’s doing just fine in the NBA with Type 1. And he certainly seems to have had his arms covered with ink with no problems at all.

Read the full story here.

Of course, the ink appears to be all black, which might have helped keep him safe from reactions. Diabetics heal much more slowly, so any problem with the tattoos would very likely have lasted a long time (like mine did).

Have you had experience with tattoos and diabetes? How did things work out for you?

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One Comment

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