7 myths and truths about tattoos

A lot has been said about tattoos, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.


Tattooing culture continues evolving around the globe, and keeps adding new followers each day.

Its growth and the social media have made myths and rumours increase too.

On one hand, there are tons of fake news or non-fundamental myths stuck in people due to its massive outreach. Unfortunately, people typically don’t even question them and they prefer to believe what they hear.

On the other hand, there are other rumours that are 100% true… Or at least 90% because, as we know, not everything is black or white, there are many factors that could influence these beliefs.

Considering that the number of people fond of tattoos is increasing, it’s important to refute misjudgements by explaining its causes and pointing out the reasons to get a tattoo.

Below, we’ll clear up some doubts on 7 myths and truths about tattoos.

There are some body-areas that hurt more than others when you get a tattoo


The main reason is the number of nerve endings of each area, and the amount of fatty tissue between those nerves and the skin.

There are some areas that, despite having many nervous endings, can have a sufficient layer of fat, enough to dampen pain (as it happens with the upper part of the arm).

On the contrary, there are other areas such as the ribs, where the needle approaches in a more direct way to the nerves due to the lack of fatty tissue, and there, pain is stronger.

There might be other influencing factors, such as the pain threshold we have according to our genetics or the tattoo size. A small design that could be done in 20 minutes is way different from one that occupies the entire forearm, which results in more hours of work and a degenerative resistance.

If you want to learn a bit more about every aspect that could make pain increase and the most affected body areas, you’re more than welcome to read our article Were does it hurt more to get a tattoo?

You can’t donate blood if you have tattoos


Having tattoos on your skin doesn’t prevent you from donating blood. This myth is based on the idea that having a tattoo is a risky procedure against health, as an infection or a disease could occur when getting it.

Although this could happen, there are preventive measures to avoid getting into trouble.

Disinfection and hygiene measures followed by both the tattoo artist and the client, before, during and after the tattoo ensure safety.

After getting a tattoo we need to wait since there is 4-month window period in Spain to detect any potential disease. This window period may vary depending on the country (8 months in Chile, 1 year in Mexico and Argentina). If you want to learn a bit more about this, read our article Tattoos and blood donation: Unveiling myths

It’s not advisable to get a tattoo if pregnant


Although we can’t firmly say “no”, it’s recommended to be extremely cautious and avoid the gestation period.

As said before, there are preventive measures that could help. In case some of these precautions fail, it could provoke a disease that would probably be given to the fetus.

Concerning this, dermatologist Raúl de Lucas states:

"The best would be not to do it because of the risk of catching diseases such as Hepatitis C or HIV, as well as local infections, as come antibiotics should not be used.”

Moreover, dermatologist Guadalupe Domínguez Antonio explains a tattoo on the mother might not heal properly.

Under these circumstances, contact your obstetrician.

For more info, visit our blog post Tattoos during pregnancy.

Tattoos can’t be removed


Deciding to have a tattoo may mean fear of disliking the result, eventually getting fed up with it, or no longer feeling identified with it.

If anything of this happens, they can be removed!

Nowadays, there are many options to remove tattoos. Some of them are more progressive than others.

Among the most common procedures, we have: surgical removal, dermabrasion and laser, although this last one is the most frequent.

Having tattoos is addictive


Although we can’t assure it 100%, our opinion is based on an extremely high percentage of people who decide to have another tattoo. Let’s pay special attention to it.

In a survey carried out in Spain in 2019, 98% of the people who had already had a tattoo would definitely have another one.

Even so, the percentage is lower, we should also take into account some people actually don’t want to get another tattoo.

The tattoo culture has achieved to change so many prejudices that it has gained tons of new fans. We could say that if people have one, they’ll probably have 2, but also 3, 4…. So, could we call it an “addiction”?

Tattoos can’t be vegan


Veganism is a lifestyle that many people choose to avoid using animal products.

During the last few years, this practice has become globally recognized, more and more people question their own habits, clothing, food and cosmetics.

The tattooing industry has also decided to join the movement by providing solutions that match this way of living.

Companies have not only decided to create cruelty-free inks. In fact, they are also concerned about products and materials used by tattooists before, during and after their job, including the after care process.

Do you want to learn more about this topic and how your tattoos could support the environmental cause? We’ve got 2 articles related to this: Vegan tattoos and Vegan products.

Today, there are no working limitations when carrying tattoos


If we had written this article 15 years ago, we would have had a different answer.

Tattoos were stigmatized for a long period of time, and they were related to criminality and dubious lifestyles.

But as years went by, these ideas began to change for the lack of evidence.

The decision of having a design on the skin breaks any ideological, cultural and social barrier. Nowadays, tattoos have finally diversified.

Unfortunately, there are still some companies have a more conservative view and discard potential employees for having visible tattoos. But, no worries. Nobody would like to work in an environment where it’s believed that ink affects our cognitive abilities, right?

On the other hand, luckily, there are many other companies who have decided to evolve on their perspective, and they prefer to accept tattoos and refuse to have a policy against tattooed employees.

The answer for a rumor is information

Myths and truths about tattoos are many, and we can’t say that there won’t be any new ones, as defamation spreads fast. We need to be aware of what’s usually said to avoid being part of a misinformation that only creates intolerance prejudices towards tattoos

Besides, this data gives a wider picture of the matter and can help in the decision of getting a tattoo.

Which of these myths have you heard frequently?

To finish debunking them and gain new knowledge to better guide your clients, MasterCourse: Realistic Tattooing, with Coreh López.