Body art


If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo or piercing, it’s important to know that they pose a significant risk for people with haemophilia, so it’s a good idea to talk to your Haemophilia Centre about it first.

Can I have a piercing?

For obvious reasons piercing can be dangerous. If you’re thinking of having your body pierced, make sure you have a Clotting Factor infusion beforehand to prevent the risk of prolonged bleeding; you may need another dose of Clotting Factor afterwards too. Think about where on the body you want to have your piercing, as some places are more prone to bleeding than others.

The safest place to get a piercing is in your ears, as they are not highly vascularised and are largely formed of cartilage

Try to avoid areas such as the tongue and mouth, nose, nipples or genitals, as they contain many blood vessels. Piercings around the eye can also cause long-term problems with vision, whereas those around the belly button can lead to internal bleeding

Can I get a tattoo?

Tattoos involve breaking through the top layer of skin to apply pigment to the layer beneath. This not only causes bleeding, but also poses a risk of infection from blood-borne viruses (e.g. hepatitis C and HIV). You can still have a tattoo, but it’s advisable to talk to your physician beforehand, so that they can advise you of the precautions you need to take. You will also need to tell your tattooist that you have haemophilia and explain to them that you have talked to your Haemophilia Centre. Be aware that many tattooists ask their customers to sign a form outlining their rules and regulations, and releasing them from liability if something goes wrong. Make sure you read these forms carefully.

What should I look for in a tattoo parlour?

If you decide to have a tattoo, it’s critical that you find a tattoo parlour that meets all necessary health and safety standards, and has a professional certification to prove it. This will reduce your risk of infection. You might also want to look online for reviews of your local tattoo parlours, and talk to other customers.

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