6 Foods to Avoid After Getting a Tattoo

Updated in December 2021

Unhealthy foods (e.g. food that has high fat or sugar content) should be avoided after you get a tattoo. as they can cause skin inflammation and interfere with the healing process. Examples include fresh sausage, smoked sausage and ham. 

This recommendation stands true for anyone undergoing treatment for skin issues or anyone who is experiencing acute skin inflammation (which is common after getting a tattoo).

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to ensure adequate tattoo aftercare, such as keeping your skin protected, avoiding scratching, and avoiding direct sun. Both of these combined will promote better healing and a more beautiful tattoo.

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List of foods you should avoid

Examples of the main food to avoid include:

  1. Ready-made juices and sodas;
  2. Fried foods and fast food, such as chips, pastries and french fries
  3. Fast food
  4. Pork and processed meats such as fresh and smoked sausage, ham, bacon, mortadella and salami;
  5. Sweets, stuffed biscuits, cakes, ready-made cakes, chocolates, cereal bars;
  6. Instant noodles, stock cubes, ready to eat frozen meals, ice cream;
  7. Alcoholic beverages.

Excessive consumption of these foods increases inflammation and hinders the skin’s healing process. This type of diet can also lead to other health problems such as headaches, high cholesterol and diabetes. Ideally, these foods should not be eaten, and should not be consumed for at least 1 week after a surgery, piercing or tattoo.

What to eat to speed healing

To speed the healing process of the skin, you should consume foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as omega-3. Foods with the most antioxidant properties include tomatoes, red fruits, citrus fruits like orange, and herbs such as garlic, onion and saffron.

Anti-inflammatory foods are those rich in good fats, such as nuts, avocado, salmon, tuna, sardines, olive oil, peanuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and sesame seeds. In addition, drinking 1 to 2 cups of anti-inflammatory teas can also help with the healing process, and you may use herbs like chamomile, ginger and rosemary.

Tattoo aftercare considerations

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet post-tattoo, there are also aftercare considerations you need to keep in mind to ensure your tattoo heals properly. These include washing the area with a gentle soap for at least 2 weeks and avoiding sun exposure and swimming. Learn more about tattoo aftercare and what you can do to promote healing.

Finally, you should have the tattoo done in a reliable place, one that is certified and in which the material used during the procedure is totally sterilized. This is essential to avoid the transmission of diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS.