How long after a cosmetic tattoo or body art tattoo do you need to wait to give a blood donation?

It’s changed a lot over the years. Six months, three months and lots of flip-flopping between different waiting periods. What is it now?

Seven days, for both blood and plasma. That’s all.

Why is the waiting period now so short?

  • Blood donations are desperately needed.
  • There are different estimates, but 19 to 25% of Australians are now reported to have some form of tattoo, with females more likely to have one (maybe that’s related to cosmetic tattooing).
  • The main risk from a tattoo is infection, which can come from poor infection control techniques, non-sterile pigment, or poor aftercare. Within seven days of tattooing, any infection is likely to have appeared.
  • Modern pigment colours are solid particles that become encapsulated in the skin, or pushed out immediately after the tattooing.
  • Any movement of pigment particles or breakdown products into the body after tattooing is likely to be very slow, so three months, six months or seven days makes little difference.

Source information and resources provided below! Cosmetic tattooing is explicitly mentioned from both Lifeline and Healthdirect, alongside body art tattooing (a great industry recognition plus!). It is important for artists to be following local government guidelines for skin penetration including infection control and using reputable products.



See Australian Red Cross Lifeblood's response to "I have a tattoo or piercing. Can I donate?": https://www.lifeblood.com.au/faq/eligibility/lifestyle-and-identity/tattoo-or-piercing

For more information, plus the waiting periods for blood donations after vaccinations, check out the federal government website: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blood-donation

February 13, 2024 — THink Aesthetics

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THink Tech Talks is our informative blog series that discusses technical industry news, training advise and more! Written in partnership with THink Aesthetics, an industry-leading training school that specialises in all things cosmetic tattooing.