Donating blood to the patients in emergency condition is a life-saver and a well-appreciated noble act.

Thanks to the recent awareness and enormous efforts in busting various myths associated with blood donation by several organisations, doctors and individuals worldwide; donating blood at least once in every three months has become like a practice of sorts among many youngsters.

However, one question that is always lingering in the minds of those willing to donate blood – Can a person with tattoo donate blood?

If you have tattoos and are eager to donate blood, you need to meet certain requirements as prescribed by the doctors. The golden rule is to wait at least for a year to donate blood and this rule implies also for those with piercings on the skin.

While Red Cross encourages people with tattoos to donate blood, it also insists on certain eligibility criteria.

Wait for a Year: It is strongly recommended to wait for a year before donating blood as there are few chances of non-sterile needles causing deadly infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Studies have proved that around 30 per cent of Hepatitis C infections spread through non-sterile needles.

In case, if tattooed person contracted blood borne diseases, the antibodies would appear in this year-long period.

Choose the Right Facility: India doesn’t have state regulated tattoo centres and in such case go to well-informed artists. Talk to them about the ink, needles, from where and how they were procured. Get inked only if you are convinced.

Check on the Needles: Ensure the needles and other material like gloves, cloth are completely sterile. The needles if not sterile can introduce foreign materials or pathogens into your blood causing deadly infections and cross contamination. Ensure the artist uses sealed needles before pricking it into your skin for gazillion times. 

Quality of the Ink: Talk to your artist about the quality of the ink that is being used for tattooing. There are several brands flooding the market, so make sure of the quality. There are vegan-friendly, non-toxic, organic tattoo inks available and check on the quality before putting to use.

Talk to Your Doctor: If you want to donate blood on a regular basis after completing the one-year of recommended time, talk to your doctor if you are eligible. Take a dermatologists opinion too.

If you have satisfied all the above criteria set by the Red Cross and the medical professionals worldwide, you can donate blood by all means!