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From Greece:

Can a person with diabetes get a henna tattoo?


As I understand it, in a "henna tattoo," there is no needle piercing of the skin. The henna dye is placed on the skin and stains the skin. These types of body art provide temporary images. I am not aware of henna being a contradiction in someone with diabetes.

On the other hand, traditionally, people with diabetes have been told to NOT get permanent tattoos involving needle sticks into the skin. The rationale has been that such a procedure can be injurious to the skin and can be associated with infections. Given the potential for slow wound healing in someone with diabetes, these types of tattoos have been taboo! But, I personally believe that if the person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is in good glycemic control, as reflected by good HbA1c determinations, do not have other underlying skin conditions, go to a REPUTABLE/REGULATED (I am uncertain how one assures this) tattoo parlor to assure proper sanitation of the tattoo needles, etc,, and understands the potential increased risks, then I could support such a patient getting a permanent tattoo, especially if the tattoo indicates the person has diabetes and this is their means of wearing (permanent) medical identification.

I believe that people should fit diabetes into their lives and not fit their lives into diabetes. I imagine that other clinicians might have (strongly) different views.


Original posting 25 Aug 2010
Posted to Other


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Last Updated: Wednesday August 25, 2010 10:53:40
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