Can You Get a Tattoo on a Bruise

Can You Get a Tattoo on a Bruise

Can You Get a Tattoo on a Bruise

Sorry Pope, that face tattoo will have to wait another week

In what seems to be a never-ending series of articles answering questions about getting a tattoo when your skin exhibits a differing characteristic than “the norm” we’re touching on one literally sensitive spot – a bruise.

Some of you have a tattoo planned or already scheduled, but due to some activity, sport, or outright hijinks you now not-so-proudly wear a bruise on the intended area of your tattoo. Can you still proceed, or do you have to wait until it heals? Given that the latter may throw off your plans (travel, etc.) you prefer to move forward, but have some pressing questions. Well, we’ve got answers.

What You Need to Know About Tattooing Over a Bruise

1. Depends on Your Threshold for Pain

Tattoos hurt, and when you add a bruise to the equation the experience will certainly be more uncomfortable. Some of you can deal with it without issue, while others not so much. In our article about where on the body to get a tattoo, we list highly sensitive areas, which include the following:

  • inner wrists
  • armpits
  • inner elbow
  • ribs
  • fingers
  • back of the knee
  • kneecaps
  • hands
  • ankles and feet
  • shins
  • shoulder blades
  • spine
  • neck

From the list above you can see that these are not exactly common areas to get bruised on, which is good news, but if you’ve bruised (or exhibit injury based pain) any of the above and you have a low threshold for pain it’s best to wait until it has healed. In fact, if you have a low threshold for pain, getting tattooed on even the fleshier parts of your body may present an extremely uncomfortable experience. If this is you, wait for a week until your bruise and sensitivity has subsided.

2. When the Tattoo is Black and Grey

If you’re covering the entire bruised area in black ink it won’t bother your tattooist that you have a bruise. If however, they need to shade the area with varying tones along the black and grey spectrum then the design can certainly be impacted by a bruise. The artist won’t be able to properly gauge what the shading will look like on the bruised area, and this may impact the integrity of the design. A small bruise won’t matter much, but a large one requiring careful shading will. If the latter is the case do your artist a favor and wait until the color has returned to norm.

3. When the Tattoo is Full Color

A bruise can take on many colors and it will vary upon the melanin levels of your skin. Black, blue, purple and brown are common, and the tones will change from the day of your injury all the way through until it has healed and your color returns to its true tone. This makes tattooing in color very difficult, especially when the bruised area is large. A professional artists who takes pride in his/her work will not want to tattoo color over a bruise, and will request that you wait. On the flip side, if you’re getting a design that can work with a bruise – go for it! Think it’s a reach? How about a tattoo of a peach? Sorry, we can’t help it when the creative juices get flowing.


If you have any additional questions about getting a tattoo over a bruise or after sustaining an injury near the intended area of your design, contact an Adrenaline Studios near you to schedule a consultation.