Whether it's a small butterfly on your ankle or a skull on your arm, a gemstone in your navel or a ring in your nose - almost all of us have probably thought about getting a tattoo or piercing.
However, if you have a congenital heart defect, there are a few things you should be aware of - especially if you are taking anticoagulant medication or if you are at risk of endocarditis.
You're taking anticoagulants?
During tattooing, the ink is pricked under the skin with needles. This causes slight bleeding. If you take medication such as Aspirin, Marcumar, Cumadin or similar, your blood clotting will be inhibited. This makes it bleed much more. In this case the tattoo ink would be washed out by the bleeding. A tattoo is therefore out of the question.
Beware. Dubious tattoo studios might recommend you to stop taking your medicine for a certain period of time so that a tattoo is possible. However, discontinuing your medication can be life-threatening.
It's not worth it, is it?
Are you at risk for endocarditis?
If you are at risk of endocarditis, you should avoid piercings and be very careful with tattoos. During tattooing and piercing, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and thus also to your heart and endanger it. The least risky are piercings in the ear, because the ears are only weakly supplied with blood. However, piercings in the tongue or on mucous membranes, which are strongly supplied with blood, such as in the nose, are strongly advised against.
Although endocarditis is quite rare, you should take the risk seriously. If you are sure that you want to get pierced, you must first talk to your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics to prevent endocarditis. Remember, however, that antibiotics may reduce the risk of endocarditis, but do not eliminate it completely.
Please pay attention to this
- Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about getting a tattoo or piercing. The risk of endocarditis depends on which heart defect you have.
- If you are under 18, you need your parents' consent for a tattoo or piercing.
- Also make sure that the tattoo studio is clean and works with sterile equipment.
- Choose a tattoo or piercing studio you trust. Talk to the people there about your heart defect and the risk of endocarditis.
- If you have recently been pierced or tattooed, be sure to see a doctor if you experience fever, headache, heavy sweating, joint pain or other symptoms.