Even With Tattoos, You Can Give Blood And Save Lives

Carolina didn’t let her tattoo stop her from making a selfless decision to become a blood donor.

Diagnostics Testing|Sep.13, 2021

Tattoos are more than skin deep.

Some have undeniable significance.

Some are spontaneous, but no less meaningful.

But one misconception about tattoos ─ that people with tattoos are ineligible to donate blood ─ has prevented some from getting inked or giving back. It's a common myth that having tattoos makes you ineligible to donate blood. This was true in the past, but it isn't a barrier today. Fact is, even if you're inked, you have the power to build a healthier world and save lives.

She Stands Out

Carolina Holler, a 28-year-old from San Paulo, Brazil, is no stranger to tattoos. She was 18 when she donated blood for the first time and 20 when she got her first tattoo. That tattoo would be the first of many.

Carolina's tattoos aren't a barrier that keep her from donating blood. She made the decision to give back, to show everyone you can have tattoos and be a regular blood donor.

Having a fascination with the human body at a young age, her passion for healthcare, blood donation awareness and body art would become a defining characteristic of her adulthood.

"I have 10 tattoos. And that hasn't stopped me from donating blood. You can plan your tattoos around blood donation," she said.

Tattoo, not taboo

Over the past few decades, tattoos have become less taboo. A Harris Poll found that nearly half of all millennials have tattoos. Among people who have tattoos, seven in 10 don't stop there, ending up with a tattwo and a tatthree.

Now, more than half the nation includes people who are Millennials, Gen Z and younger. That means there’s a likelihood a young donor who steps up to fight against current blood shortages will have a tattoo. Or maybe even a few.

Most people with tattoos can donate blood as long as they don’t have risk factors that prohibit or limit blood donation, and if they got a tattoo at a state regulated facility. In the U.S. you have to wait 3 months to donate if the tattoo was from a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities.

Make Your Mark

Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and your donations have the power to change lives, regardless of your tattoos.

Don't let your ink stop you from donating blood.

You don't have to compromise your individuality, style, sense of adventure or your love of body art to become a regular donor. Tattoos are a permanent statement of who you are, what (or who) you love and what’s important to you.

So is becoming a donor.

You can leave your mark on the world by donating ─ a permanent sign of your selflessness and the difference you've made in changing lives.

Carolina inspires those around her to donate, especially loved ones her age. She's a reminder that it’s on us (ahem, millennials and Gen Z) to step up and give back.

"Even if you're not able to donate, you can go with a friend who's donating and be a support system for them. Make it social," she said.

Generosity is more than skin deep. Just like your tattoos.

Learn more about blood donation FAQs and find a blood donation center near you.