Can You Drink Alcohol Before or After Getting A Tattoo?

You’ve decided to pull the trigger and get a tattoo. You’ve looked into the artwork, the artist, and the pricing. Everything’s set, but you just need a little liquid courage to back you up. So, can you drink alcohol before or after tattoo?

Drinking alcohol before or after getting tattooed is greatly discouraged. Your pain tolerance will be decreased, you’ll bleed out more, and the tattoo will be of poor quality. Drinking after getting a tattoo can cause infections, and scabs, and make healing more painful. You’re also making a long-term decision with an unsound mind, and you might regret it.

I’m going to explain what happens if you’re drunk before or after tattooing in detail. So, if you want to know the why behind the no, read on.

Can You Drink Alcohol Before or After Getting A Tattoo

What Happens if You’re Drunk Before Getting Tattooed?

Drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo is the worse decision you can make. You’ll be compromised psychologically and physically, and probably won’t handle getting tattooed well. The process will be painful, and you’ll end up with a ruined tattoo, more costs, and regret.

Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t get tattooed while drunk.

  • Alcohol increases pain.
  • Being drunk makes you bleed more.
  • The tattoo won’t be true to the stencil.
  • Ink won’t hold.
  • You might ruin the tattoo.
  • You can pass out during the session.
  • Responsible artists will refuse you.
  • You might get scammed.
  • Drunk long-term decisions can make you regret them later.

You might think you can get away with drinking only a little. It doesn’t matter if you’re buzzed or not. Alcohol in your system will make you unfit to get a tattoo.

Let’s explain why alcohol can cause all these issues when you’re getting tattooed.

Why Tattooing will be More Painful

Tattooing is a painful process that you have to endure. Typically, it’s just a stinging sensation that you can ignore. But alcohol can turn it into nightmarish agony.

Alcohol warps your perception and lowers your pain tolerance. Your experience can range from a slight to moderate increase in pain. The drunker you are, the more amplified the effects will be.

It’s not the same case with everyone. Some people don’t feel a change, and a rare few even feel less pain when drunk. But if you want to test what happens, you don’t want to sit through hours of potential torment and find out.

It’s not just lowered pain tolerance that causes the pain. Alcohol clouds your judgment. You can drunkenly pick a spot that’s more painful to get a tattoo on. Your ribs, spine, fingers, and shins are painful places to get a tattoo, and you might think it’s a good idea.

Why Alcohol can Make You Bleed More

Alcohol is known to be a blood thinner. Any amount will cause your blood to thin out and increase blood flow. And bleeding is a big reason to say no to, “Can you drink alcohol before or after tattoo?”

It’s common that you’ll bleed during tattooing, but alcohol can increase the blood flow to dangerous levels. It won’t stop or be harder to stem because your blood will also refuse to coagulate. Instead of tattooing you, your artist might get busy trying to make sure you don’t bleed out.

Why the Tattoo Might get Botched

Bleeding more isn’t just a hypothetical life-risking scenario. Bleeding more will ruin your tattoo too. Bleeding more than normal can make the stencil untraceable during a tattoo session.

The artist can’t simply wipe off the blood if you bleed more. Blood will cover and hide the stencil too often, and they won’t be able to trace it. You’ll be left with a marred tattoo that’s nowhere near what you envisioned.

Bleeding will also cause the ink to not hold. The ink pigments need to seep into your skin. Bleeding will dilute the ink and push out the pigments. So, you can end up with a tattoo that looks incomplete or discolored.

You can Ruin the Tattoo

As I’ve mentioned, alcohol can cloud your judgment. If you’re drunk, you won’t be a stable mindset. Chances are, you’ll be blabbering during the session, or worse, move around.

You need to give your artists room so that they can focus. If you talk too much, you can break their concentration. Worse, you can make hand gestures or move, which can cause some of the following.

  • A misplaced tattoo.
  • Ruined lining.
  • Tattoo blowouts from pushing the needle in too deep and ink feathering out.
  • Errors like lines crossing over.

Even if the artist tries to warn you, you might not be in a state of mind to listen. So, your erratic behavior can lead to a complete mess that you’ll hate later.

Alcohol can also cause tiredness, aching, headaches, drowsiness, and dehydration. This will lead you to fidget even more or feel more pain and discomfort. Even if you don’t move, you’ll break the artist’s focus because they’ll be more concerned about your health.

In extreme cases, you can vomit or pass out. That’s not a good experience for you or the artist. They won’t be able to continue, and you can end up getting seriously hurt if you randomly move.

Over a prolonged session, the risk of vomiting or passing out increases. So, it’s inevitable you’ll botch the tattoo at some point.

You’ll be Turned Away

By now, it should be obvious that a drunk client is a nightmare for tattoo artists. From their perspective, it’s only a matter of time before disaster strikes. So, any responsible artist will refuse to get you tattooed.

Artists have a reputation they want to uphold. They might fear that you’ll regret your decision later and blame them for it. So, they won’t accept you as a client unless you’re sober.

You Might Get Scammed

Artists who care about their reputation won’t take you in if you’re drunk. But there are others who are looking to make a quick buck and don’t care about you or the tattoo. Unfortunately, you won’t be in a state of mind to notice.

When you’re drunk, you can experience something called the Beer Goggle effect. Your perception will be altered, and you’ll fail to notice the most obvious issues. Even a bloodied, marred blotch will look like an amazing tattoo.

They can agree to whatever decisions you make, even if they are bad ideas. You won’t be able to notice hygiene, ink, and other factors. So, you can end up with a mess that costs you hundreds, or an infected tattoo that’ll cost you hundreds more.

Why You’ll Regret That Tattoo

Alcohol will make the worst tattoo ideas sound amazing. Tattoos are long-term decisions that’ll stick with you for years. A highly visible tattoo that might be botched or have an ugly design will ruin your image.

You’ll also have to deal with the increased pain, bleeding, and possible risk of infection. Overall, the tattoo will be a sore reminder of some of the worst moments of your life.

Can You Drink After You Get the Tattoo?

I’ve already answered one half of, “can you drink alcohol before or after tattoo?” The other half isn’t as obvious. Drinking after getting a tattoo won’t affect you right away, but it can get just as dangerous.

After you’ve gotten a tattoo, it’ll ooze and bleed for the next 24 hours. Drinking alcohol will thin out the blood, and it’ll refuse to clot. Excess bleeding can lead to these issues.

  • Difficulty in growing new skin.
  • The tattoo can scab over.
  • Scarring.
  • Infections.
  • Impaired living.

Drinking will prolong your healing, as the wound can’t close. So, you’ll become more susceptible to these issues over time.

Drinking alcohol can also lead to infection based on your actions. You or people around you might forget to disinfect their hands before touching your tattoo. Or you can poke the tattoo too much, agitating the skin and breaking up clots.

Also Read – How to apply a temporary tattoo


So, can you drink alcohol before or after tattoo? You should avoid drinking alcohol instead. It’s best if you don’t drink alcohol 24 hours before getting the tattoo and 48 hours to 2 weeks after.

Getting a tattoo isn’t a decision you can erase easily. It’s an expression of your persona, and you deserve the best artwork possible. So, make that choice while you’re sober and with a calm, clear mind.

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