Can Tattoos Cause Anxiety?

Why might the very thought of a tattoo cause anxiety in some? For one, tattooing deals largely with needles and permanency, both worrisome topics. There are countless reasons why tattoos may cause anxiety. In this article, we are going to explore these possible causes of anxiety and find solutions to minimize the tattooing anxiety.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Various ways that your tattoo can cause anxiety

  • Solutions to solving these causes of anxiety

  • Further discussion on the connection between tattoos and anxiety

The thought/process of getting a tattoo might trigger some people’s anxiety. It is highly unlikely that the chemical makeup of tattoo ink causes anxiety itself. We are not medical professionals, but we can provide a superficial look into anxiety related to tattooing. Provided at the bottom of this article, we have linked resources to professional medical websites regarding this subject matter.

Tattoo Aftercare Anxiety

It is of utmost importance to follow proper aftercare procedures after getting a tattoo. Although aftercare may be straightforward and simple to some, the more you look into aftercare, the more complicated it becomes. It’s no secret that tattoo aftercare can be intimidating to some.

Why would tattoo aftercare cause anxiety? The most probable reason of tattoo aftercare causing anxiety would be reading into it too much. On this website we’ve provided a simple guide to tattoo aftercare. This is all you need to know! Your artist may tell you additional information that you should follow. If any complications arise, just do some research pertaining to that particular question.

The solution to anxiety caused by tattoo aftercare is: don’t make it more complicated that it actually is!

Tattoo Infection Anxiety

Tattoos are an open wound covering a significant amount of skin. If you do not take care of your tattoo, there is a very good chance that it may become infected. Any skin infection is a serious matter that should be brought to a medical professional as soon as it’s noticed. If a skin infection spreads, it can become very dangerous.

As far as your tattoo goes, a skin infection can ruin your tattoo. You’ll be left with a distorted image that does not resemble what you wanted. A skin infection can cause areas of your tattoo to blend together and for lines to break. In short, you do not want a skin infection! It is painful and can potentially ruin your fancy new tattoo.

Just by typing that, I started to get some anxiety. Tattoo infections are not something to joke around with! It’s not a mystery why the thought of tattoo infections can cause a great deal of anxiety to an individual.

The solution to this anxiety is to simply relax! If you follow the proper aftercare instructions, chances are that you won’t get an infection. If you do get an infection, you just need to deal with it as soon heavenly possible.

By understanding fully how to deal with a skin infection, you may alleviate some of your anxiety. Having in depth knowledge about something will make it so much less intimidating.

Tattoo Pain Anxiety

This is a big one! The pain caused by tattoos is probably the number one most worrisome parts of getting a tattoo. Everyone hears rumors of how much a particular tattoo hurts, etc. If you dwell too much on thinking about the pain of getting a tattoo, you might never want to get it!

I have to admit, when I was about to get my first tattoo, I was quite anxious about the pain. To my surprise, the pain was easier to deal with than I was expecting.

What’s the solution to anxiety caused by thinking about tattoo pain? First of all, it is important to know that you can ask your tattoo artist to take a breathing break. You can spend 5 minutes to collect yourself and rest before resuming your session. This is a good way to manage the pain as you don’t have to get the entire tattoo in one fell swoop.

Another method to alleviate some of your anxiety is to pinch yourself! Not because you’re dreaming, but because it is a good way to simulate the pain of a tattoo. Pinch yourself with the nails of your thumb and forefinger to help imagine the pain. At first, this may be painful but the longer you hold the pinch, the more desensitized you’ll become.

Tattoo Regret Anxiety

Tattoos are permanent! (Unless you want to go through the pain and stress of getting them removed). Many people talk about the regret of getting a tattoo. If you bring up the idea of getting a tattoo, somebody will usually chime in: “just make sure you won’t regret it!

Thinking about having a regret inked into your skin is very stressful. If you do not love your tattoo, it may cause anxiety due to constantly having to explain it to people.

Create a dream board for your future tattoo(s). Print out or draw your tattoo idea and pin it to a board. Place the board in a location where it is the first thing you see every morning. If after a week or two you’re still excited about the potential tattoo, you probably won’t end up regretting it.

Another solution is to understand that you have phases during your life. During these phases, you will have wildly different interests than you did in other phases. Rather than thinking “I might not like this thing in 25 years”, think about your tattoo as a time capsule on your skin, representing a particular phase of your life.

Chemicals in Tattoo Ink Causing Anxiety?

Although anything is possible, this is highly unlikely. It would be hard to find the connection between tattoo ink and anxiety.

Further Resources
“Marked for life? A prospective study of tattoos on appearance anxiety and dissatisfaction, perceptions of uniqueness, and self-esteem” (