Debunking 7 Common Tattoo Myths

Mini Flower Tattoos

The world of tattoos is fraught with misconceptions. From tattoos causing cancer to lighter ink tattoos hurting more than black ink, let’s debunk some common myths that may be holding people back from getting their dream tattoo. 

Myth #1: Tattoos Cause Cancer

Getting a tattoo is basically getting an open wound. So, yes, there are some risks involved with getting inked. However, cancer is not one of those risks!

“Even though inks may contain concerning ingredients, most scientific literature to date is likely to be reassuring if you have a penchant for expressing yourself through tattoos. There’s no definitive evidence to suggest an increased risk of skin cancer from tattoos,”

Cancer Center

A pressing concern with tattoos is infection. If you don’t take care of your fresh tattoo, bacteria could get in and contaminate your ink. That’s why it’s so important to take all the necessary aftercare steps to support your body’s healing process.

Red Ink Butterfly Tattoo @d.mension_tattoo

Another concern is an allergic reaction, with the most common allergy being to red tattoo ink.

“Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the reaction. Some are surface and can resolve themselves in a couple of days. Just like any other type of allergic reaction, if you’re vigilant and act quickly, you should be ok. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention,”

Authority Tattoo

One of the best ways to avoid any allergic reactions is to do a patch test before getting tatted. 

Crescent Moon And Bees Tattoo @__upazat_._ic

Myth #2: Tattoos Are Permanent 

This statement can be a bit misleading. When saying that a tattoo is permanent, you may think that your design will always look the same. Not the case. Tattoos fade over time due to your body breaking the ink down and sun exposure.

“Tattoos themselves are actually under two layers of skin, with the top acting as a filter between the pigment and the sun. However, the more sun exposure, the more colors will fade—regardless of how dark they started,”


This is why it’s essential to slather on the SPF whenever your tattoo is exposed to the elements.

Black Cat Tattoo @mustafaalakoc_

You can also get your tattoo removed. Laser tattoo removal is a common and effective way to do this. During the tattoo removal process, lasers heat up the ink, breaking it down into smaller particles so that your immune system can remove it easily.

It’s important to note that it may take several appointments to remove your tattoo, and results may differ. Some tattoos are easier to remove than others. Generally, dark blue and black inks are simpler to remove compared to red, orange, yellow, and white tattoo inks.

White Ink Wave Collarbone Tattoo @heim__tattoo

Myth #3: Getting Tattooed With White Ink Hurts More Than Black Ink

Inkaholic suggests that this myth comes from the fact that white ink is usually applied during the final stages of a tattoo.

“Chances are, the area of skin that’s already been tattooed is probably sensitive. By returning to that same spot to add more ink, the person being tattooed will probably feel extra pain.”

Different color ink is not what causes a tattoo to be painful. What really makes the process sore is the tattoo placement. Typically, areas of the body with fat and muscle have more cushioning and therefore hurt less compared with areas that have thin skin close to the bone. 

Mini Bow Tattoo @ye___ho

Myth #4: The More Ointment, The Better

When you leave the tattoo studio, your artist will give you a list of aftercare steps to support your body’s healing process. This will include washing and moisturizing your fresh ink.

You may have the urge to heap on the lotion to speed up the process, but this doesn’t actually help. Too much ointment can actually suffocate the skin. Letting your tattoo breathe is an essential part of the healing process. 

Fine Line Flower Tattoo @misterch_

Myth #5: Drinking Alcohol Before Getting Tatted With Decrease The Pain

Do not drink alcohol before your tattoo appointment. Alcohol thins the blood, so you’ll bleed a lot during the tattoo process, messing with the visibility of your tattoo artist, and causing problems with their ability to do their job.

Your tattoo artist may then need to redo lines making the appointment last longer and be more painful than needed. 

Being inebriated can also make it difficult for you to sit still during your appointment – not great tattoo etiquette. 

Stories & Ink adds that drinking after your tattoo appointment isn’t a good idea either.

“After getting tattooed, blood and plasma will usually leak from the tattoo to a certain extent, but after necking a few pints you might find yourself dripping a bit too much. It gets messy, and could again push ink out of your tattoo before it has settled properly, resulting in a faded result.”

Blue Ink Dragon Tattoo @novitski_ttt

Myth #6: Tattooed People Cannot Donate Blood 

This is only partly due. The FDA states that you should wait three months after getting tatted to give blood. This is because when you get tattooed, you’re opening your body up to bacteria and you’re more at risk of infection.

“If you’ve contracted a bloodborne illness, detectable antibodies will likely appear during this 3-month period,”


However, you may be able to give blood under three months in some states if you get your tattoo at a state-regulated tattoo shop.

‘Breathe’ Tattoo @stefano__mazza

Myth #7: You Can’t Get An MRI With A Tattoo 

An MRI is a scan that produces images of the structures inside the body using a large magnet and radio waves. This can be a prescribed procedure to diagnose some illnesses.

Tattoo inks used to contain certain metals that can cause a reaction during an MRI. Now that tattoo inks have improved over the years, there is very little risk of this.

However, you should still tell your doctor about your tattoos so that they can make an informed decision on whether an MRI is the best course of action. 

Waves And Sun Tiny Tattoo @farotattoomarbella

There are so many myths in our society regarding tattoos. This is why it’s so important to do your research to make sure about what’s true and what’s false.

Recent Posts Protection Status