Piercings and Blood thinner medication

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Friday July 10th, 2009 @ 11:16 PM

Filed under: Piercing

I have recently had a stroke and I am now on blood thinner medication (Coumadin/Warfaran). I’d like to get another piercing (ear?) and I would like to know what is the proper protocol for letting my piercer know that I will bleed more due to this new medication when getting pierced and what precautions I need to take extra for aftercare.

Also, is there anything I need to let my doctor know other than I intend to get pierced by a professional piercer?

Hey Cherie, glad you’re feeling a bit better - you must be, if you’re considering your next modifications already! ;)

I saw that you sent this question in twice, slightly rephrased to address the concerns of getting tattooed on Warfarin, so I’ll respond to both aspects. Regarding tattooing, I’ve found mixed information on the subject, but the manufacturers of Warfarin don’t seem strongly opposed to it from a health standpoint. That being said, excessive bleeding will certainly affect the healed appearance of your tattoo, and you will almost certainly lose a substantial amount of ink and end up with a patchy, uneven tattoo. Personally? I wouldn’t risk it.

From the piercer’s perspective, I, personally, wouldn’t want to pierce someone on Warfarin, and the manufacturers are strongly against patients on Warfarin getting piercings (even of the earlobe) due to the risk of excessive bleeding. And most cartilage piercings are decent bleeders anyway, so that’s not a great idea. Depending on your PT/INR results, you may get your dosage reduced or be off it entirely at some point in the future as your health improves, so in your case, I’d advise holding off for the near future - it’s not worth risking your overall health for a piercing.

And of course, since you’re one of our locals, feel free to call me to discuss more in detail! :)

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20 Responses to “Piercings and Blood thinner medication”

  1. Thanks Lori! I hadn’t considered the implications for tattoos and discolouring so thanks for the information!

    And yes, I will really think about any piercing or tattoo before going ahead with anything.

    I don’t think at this stage that I will ever get off the warfaran, but maybe a reduction of my daily dose, depending on my INR will be OK in the future with doctor’s consent if/when I’m ready to get pierced and/or tattooed.

    I’ve also posted this question on InkedNation and had an additional query from a tattooist as well. If you don’t mind, I might respond back to him with your comments.

    Cherie on July 11th, 2009 at 12:24 am
  2. I was on Coumadin/Warfaran for over three months because of a blood clot and i can tell you that if i cut myself shaving it bleeds a LOT! Wait until your off the Coumadin/Warfaran or your dosage is lowered. The risk is to much.

    chuckyc on July 11th, 2009 at 6:04 am
  3. I’m currently (and forever) on warfarin for my 2nd & 3rd blood clots that were discovered after my recent C-section. Due to the multiple blood clots in such little time I have to remain on blood thinners. I was so bummed because I’m only 20 & have had tattoos drawn out for years… But it’s definately not worth it. You’ll end up with a goofy home-made looking tatoo that you paid full price for; plus the risk of bleeding out is definately not worth the self expression.. I’ve looked into Hennah ink, granted it’s such a PG form of tattooing; but you’ll be guranteed to never get sick of your ink :) You can have sleeves one day & none the next. Way cool alternative for people on blood thinners.

    As for the piercings; major bummer. I wanted my lip re-pierced so badly but once again, my health is way more important than body jewelry, just remember piercings can infect the longer it’s an open wound.. blood thinners insure you don’t clot, so you’re beggin’ for infection if you go ahead & get pierced without informing the piercer. .. check into some falsies if you want the look without the bleeding & pain!

    Meg on August 13th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
  4. I totally know how you all feel if not worse. I am only 18 and I will forever be on coumadin due to a blood condition that appeared after I got a blood clot when I was seveteen. I would definately ask your doctor and wait to get off your meds before you got any piercings/ tattoos. :D Hope all goes well

    Jessalyn on November 11th, 2009 at 8:38 pm
  5. i was on warfarin/coumadin from feb 09′-sept 09, i then got switched to lovenox but now im on arixtra & my doctors approved of me getting tattoos and piercings.CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING!

    Neeca on December 20th, 2009 at 2:56 pm
  6. hiya there that bit where you sed about tattos is not realy tru way it depend on the person but i am on warfrin due to haveing a mental hart valve and ime on a very high does ime on between 10 and 13mg i have had 5 tatto’s and only 1 i have had to have recoloured. and none of them realy bled only 1 and my inr as to be 3.5 due to the valve and mostd pples on warfrin only has to be 2.5. also i have got my ears 2s and belly i only had my second hole in my ear dun 3months ago and i dint have to have any tablets. wen 1std had my 1st pieceing 3year ago u used to have to have table but now you do not have to have anything. you justd have to do as the place you have it dun said but 4 a bit longer and 4 cleaning justd use worm water to but 2 3 times day more than you would normaly. i would contac ur doctur 1std but realy u dnt blean shit loads like poeple say. far inuff difrent pple are difrent. but 4 my 1st tatto i justd ad a letter A with litle patten round to see how it went and that and it was fine i no a few pple on warfrin and had tattos ect.

    andrea on February 6th, 2010 at 9:43 pm
  7. also i went on warfrin wen i was 12 to save my life cus it was iver metal valve and warfin or nothing as i died on the table i have now been on warfrin for 7year. yes that is tru where that girl who is 20 sai she bleeds alot if she cuts er self shaveing. wich is tru but i bleed alot more if i cut my legs shaveing or fingers cutting up stiff than i did wen i had i pieceing and tatto.

    andrea on February 6th, 2010 at 9:48 pm
  8. I have been on warfrin for about 8 yrs, 5 to 10mg due to a side effect from birth control. Since then I have gotten four tatts, a belly button piercing, and a second piercing in both ears. Fortunately, all have healed pretty well with very little bleeding. My tatts still look nice as well. Right now I’m highly considering getting my tongue pierced, but still a bit nervous due to the fact that its a deeper piercing. So I guess it all depends on the person and how one body heals in the first place, blood thinners or not. Of course though its always best to stay safe and consult with ur doctor.

    annette on June 20th, 2011 at 12:08 am
  9. Firstly, please learn to spell before you make a post that people are supposed to try to read. lol. Secondly, from what I can tell from talking to several people that are on coumadin and have been for awhile, some of which are stuck on it for life such as myself, everyone seems to react differently when it comes to piercings and tattoo’s. It really is just a simple case of talk to your doctor first, then inform your piercing/tattoo artist of your condition, if they as professionals don’t feel comfortable doing it, then it’s probably best to just not get it done. Trust me, I know how much it sucks to be stripped away from the freedom of body modification. Heck, I only ended up being able to gauge one ear before I got put on coumadin due to a clotting disorder I have, and I have had countless tattoo ideas that went right out the window because I have to be on coumadin. But if your lucky, you may be the type of person who can still get that stuff done. I personally don’t bleed any more than a normal person would, but then again before I was on blood thinners I hardly bled at all. lol.

    Rob on July 27th, 2011 at 4:56 am
  10. i am on life long warfin and have had my belli lip trugu indusral 2x streches done whild on warfrin my pericer just ups the gage

    aleisha on January 20th, 2012 at 10:00 pm
  11. I know how you guys feel. I am 22 years old and have to be on Warfarin for the rest of my life too because I had pulmonary emboli. I’ve wanted a tattoo so bad for years but now I’m not sure if it’ll be possible… Are there certain areas of the body that would bleed less thus proposing less of a bleeding risk and better preserving the look of the tattoo?

    Samantha on January 26th, 2012 at 9:18 am
  12. I have two blood clotting disorders and have been on Coumadin for 6 years and must take it the rest of my life because I have a Greenfield filter in my vena cava. I have had an industrial piercing in my ear, my tragus pierced, my nose pierced, my tongue pierced and 13 tats since I have been taking 10 mgs daily. none of my tats turned out weird or discolored. the needle only goes in 1/16 of an inch and I barely bled at all. my eyebrow being pierced is the only thing I have had bleeding issues with, but nothing else, and I must maintain a high does of Coumadin. of course, as everyone has stated, everyone is different, but don’t give up something you want to do from fear. you can always let a piercing grow up or have a tat touched up if need be, but you may have no problems at all.

    stephanie on January 28th, 2012 at 2:06 am
  13. I have been on coumadin for over 6 months. 10mg 3 days a week and 7. 5 the other days for a pe and I’ve had my nipples pierced and am getting my tongue pierced today. My nipples were done less than a month ago and are already healed better than the first time i did them. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. :-)

    Brooke on October 12th, 2012 at 6:15 pm
  14. I’m on warfrin from getting a clot in my leg and eventually a bunch in my lungs. I will be on them till I die and I’m only 15. I started taking them when I was in grade six. In grade 7/8 I got my second piercing in the lobe and there was no bleeding. I’m really interested in getting my lip pierced in the near future. (as soon as I convince my dad. Haha) I don’t think it’s that big of a deal because of the experience with my ears but it may bleed in areas with more veins. It would be smart to talk to your doctor who prescribes your medication and see what they say. But I’m also only 15 and I don’t know much about piercings and such.

    Amanda on November 13th, 2012 at 3:03 am
  15. I had to have a mechanical heart valve put in 3 years ago. Warfarin forever, INR has to stay between 2 and 3. It’s typically in the low 2s. Some of my tats got hacked up during the surgery. I’d like to have them fixed, but presumed it wouldn’t be possible. I also find myself with a bit of free time. Learning to tattoo was one thing that occurred to me, but after the citrus fruits and scraps of pigskin, you ought to use yourself for practice for a bit before you dare make the leap to go marking up others. “You can do anything you set your mind to!” and like that, but you’ve got to admit, a thalidomide mutant in a wheelchair will not be playing center for the Knicks. I’ve taken from this discussion that getting tattooed maybe isn’t quite that level of impossible for me. Now to see what kind of a fit the doctor throws when I ask about it, and if he doesn’t screech too loud, if one of my friends with a shop will accept a commission for a small and inconspicuously-located piece, just to see what happens.

    Captain Coffee on January 21st, 2013 at 7:55 pm
  16. I have been on blood thinners for 2 months now due to a blood clot in my lungs after ACL reconstruction surgery. I was given Lovanox in the hospital and have been on Xarelto since my hospital release. I decided to get a dermal implant above my eyebrow and talked to my doctor and piercer about doing so while on a blood thinner. We took precaution and went forward with the implants. There was a considerable amount of blood lost, but nothing that made me feel light headed or ill and we controlled it rather quickly. There has been considerable bruising that got progressively worse over the course of 3-4 days. While I am pleased with my decision on the implants, I think that it may have been wise to wait until I was off of the medication to prevent some of the bruising.

    Kiki on February 12th, 2013 at 2:04 am
  17. I’m 48 years old and I like everyone on this page take Warfrin and will for the rest of my life also.I take 5mgs a day depending on my INR levels and have taken as much as 7mgs and lovenox injections twice a day for a week and before I had the problem with my clots in my legs twice I had my tongue and belly button pierced but both grew up when I was in the hospital for 17 day in ICU and I want both re-pierced but I am scared and my doctor doesn’t like the ideal of anyone having tattoo’s or piercings even if their not on blood thinner so he is no help I’m hoping to work up the nerve to have them both redo but if anyone that reads my post or any of the other before it and after it just be safe about it and take care of yourself……Dolphinlady

    Phyllis on March 24th, 2013 at 12:53 pm
  18. I have ma.y piercings that I’ve received in the past few gears and I’ve been taking warfarin for almost 21 years, I have never bless once so is say its ok to get pierced.

    tahnee on April 9th, 2013 at 10:28 pm
  19. I take warfarin for life. I’ve got 17 tattoos. 7 done whilst on warfarin. I have never had a problem. I informed my tattooist that I’m on warfarin. The ony thing I would say is you may have to modify the tattoo slightly as very fine line work might bleed out - make thicker lines. I have only had this on 1 tattoo, and ironically it’s a medical alert tattoo I’ve had done on my left wrist, which is the alert symbol, “anticoagulated” and my blood group type. It’s an awesome tattoo and I get lots of comments about it, might just save my life, and as it’s a medical tattoo I’m exemt from having to have it covered. All my tattoos have healed fine, but I do try to keep my INR below 2.5 if I’m having ink, though I have had it done at 2.7 with no after effects. I would also avoid hand tattoos, and tops of feet. These are notoriously hard places anywhere where ink tends to run and bleed out. As for piercings, I’d like my lip pierced. The pierced isn’t keen on doing it (same place as my tattooist) and I respect that. He says they sometimes bleed a lot, longer it tends to heel the bigger chance of infection. I won’t go anywhere else to get the answer I want. Doesn’t mean you can’t have it done, just means I’d rather not risk it. I honestly think tattoos are perfectly safe on warfarin, I was told this by the top thrombophilia expert in the uk. Yet my GP said I couldn’t be tattooed on warfarin, and then proceeded with “why would a pretty girl like you want tattoos anyway?” Says it all.

    Rayray on April 28th, 2013 at 7:29 am
  20. hi i had to have s full blood count dont and my platelets come back raised at 547 is this still safe to have percings

    kayleigh on July 12th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

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