Home Tattoo How to Not Pass Out During a Tattoo: 7 Tips & 5 Causes

How to Not Pass Out During a Tattoo: 7 Tips & 5 Causes

The 7 Tips & 5 Causes Of Passing Out During a Tattoo
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A tattoo can be seriously affected by passing out during the procedure. It may cause the artist to lose concentration and make mistakes, resulting in a poorly done tattoo. It can also cause the person getting the tattoo to move, leading to an uneven design. Passing out can cause injuries like falling or hitting one's head. It can also expose the tattoo to infections if the person is not conscious to protect it.

Techniques such as breathing exercises, muscle contractions, and relaxation may help reduce stress during tattoo placement. A tattoo artist can help you with distraction techniques by talking or shouting during the procedure.

In this post, we will explore how to not pass out during a tattoo, the implications of passing out during the process, and provide tips on how to prevent it from happening.

How to Not Pass Out During a Tattoo: 7 Tips

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It is common for people to feel anxious and even pass out during the procedure. You can take several steps to prepare yourself and avoid passing out during a tattoo. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you stay calm and comfortable throughout the process for beginners:

Hydrate Yourself Before the Appointment

Staying hydrated is one of the fundamental steps to preventing fainting or passing out during a tattoo. Dehydration can lead to dizziness and fainting, making it crucial to drink plenty of water.

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day before the appointment.
  • Drink electrolyte-rich fluidsto keep yourself hydrated.

Remember, coffee and alcoholic drinks have comparable effects and should be avoided before getting a tattoo.

Eat a Balanced Meal Before the Appointment

Eating a balanced meal before your appointment will help prevent dizziness and lower blood sugar levels prevent dizziness.

  • Eat a healthy meal containing protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.Healthy eating protects against shivering during tattooing.
  • Eat for proper digestion at least 2-3 hours before the appointment.

Be Aware of Your Limitations

You must know your physical and psychological limitations and inform your tattoo artist accordingly.

  • Communicate with your tattoo artist about your apprehensions and fears.
  • Don't push yourself beyond your limits.
  • Take breaks and rest when needed.

Focus on Your Breathing

Stress and anxiety can be reduced with deep breathing techniques and improve the oxygen supply to the brain.

  • Take deep breaths and exhale slowly during the tattooing process.
  • Focus on your breathing to distract from the pain.
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Distract Yourself

Distracting yourself during the tattooing process can help in reducing pain and the risk of passing out.

  • Listen to music or an audiobook.
  • Play a game or watch videos.
  • Focus on a picture on the ceiling or a wall.

Consider Numbing Creams or Pain Relief Options

If you have a low pain tolerance, consider using numbing creams or pain relievers before or during the tattoo session. Here are a few options that might work for you:

  • Utilize topical numbing creams [Dr. Numb® 5%]with lidocaine. Consider using a lidocaine patch on your hand before getting a tattoo.The hand has many nerve endings, and reducing pain could help prevent fainting.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen before a tattoo.
  • Prescription pain medication (consult with your doctor).
  • Do not take Advil or ibuprofen for 24 hours before your session. This type of painkiller thin the blood like alcohol.

Communicate with Your Tattoo Artist

One of the main reasons people faint during tattoos is to communicate more with their tattoo artist. It's important to let them know if you're feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the session. Here are a few ways to communicate with your tattoo artist:

  • Be honest about your pain tolerance.
  • Ask for breaks if needed.
  • If you feel faint or lightheaded, tell the tattoo artist.

6 Causes of Passing Out During a Tattoo

The 5 most common reasons for passing out during a tattoo

First-timers often feel dizzy or faint during tattoos, especially if it's their first time. Certain factors can increase your risk of passing out. Here are the reasons for passing out during a tattoo:


One of the most prominent reasons for passing out during the tattooing process is pain. Tattoos involve a needle puncturing the skin repeatedly, which can be a harrowing experience for some people. When the body experiences intense pain, it can trigger a response known as a vasovagal syncope. This sudden blood pressure and heart rate elevation can cause a person to faint.

Anxiety and Fear

It's normal to feel anxious when getting a tattoo, especially if it's your first time. These feelings can contribute to passing out as adrenaline can be released by the body and trigger an unsettling response in the nervous system. Fear of needles or blood can also induce fainting.


Dehydration is a common cause of fainting during a tattoo. It can also lead to lasting headaches for patients. The body's blood volume decreases when dehydrated, making sudden blood pressure drops easier to experience. Proper hydration before and during the tattoo is essential.

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Poor Nutrition

Another significant factor that can cause fainting during a tattoo is poor nutrition. If your body isn’t getting the essential nutrients it needs, it can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, leading to fainting.

Vasovagal Syncope

There is a drop in blood pressure and heart rate that can cause fainting, often in response to a stressful trigger like the pain or fear associated with getting a tattoo.

Adrenaline Crash

After a tattoo session concludes, adrenaline and endorphin levels swiftly plummet, leaving you sluggish, tired, and mentally exhausted. This post-tattoo sensation, known as the "adrenaline crash," follows the exhilaration of getting inked. The size of the tattoo and the duration of the session directly impact the intensity of the adrenaline rush and the ensuing crash.

3 Effects of Passing Out While Getting a Tattoo

While getting a tattoo, some people may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure, making them faint. A tattoo that causes a person to pass out can have physical and psychological consequences.

Physical Impact

  • Disruption of the Tattoo Process: Fainting can cause sudden movements, which may lead to a mistake in the tattoo design or placement. This can affect the overall aesthetic outcome of the tattoo.
  • Risk of Injury: If you faint, you might fall off the chair or hit nearby objects, leading to potential injuries.
  • Health Complications: Fainting can indicate underlying health issues like low blood pressure or blood sugar levels. It’s crucial to seek medical attention if you frequently faint.

Psychological Effects

The 5 most common reasons for passing out during a tattoo 3 Effects of Passing Out While Getting a Tattoo
  • Fear and Anxiety: Experiencing a fainting spell during a tattoo session can lead to fear and anxiety about future sessions. This can deter some people from getting more tattoos.
  • Embarrassment: Some people might feel embarrassed about fainting, especially if it happens in a public tattoo studio.

Impact on the Tattoo Artist

  • Increased Stress: The artist might feel stressed or anxious about causing pain or discomfort to their clients.
  • Professional Challenges: Fainting incidents can interrupt the tattooing process, making it more challenging for the artist to complete their work.
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Tattoos And Not Passing Out: Prevention

To prevent long-term fainting, avoid triggers like alcohol misuse or skipping meals. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, attend healthcare appointments, and follow medication instructions. Here are some tips that you need to know:

  • You can get a tattoo while sick, but it may only sometimes be wise. Avoid getting a piercing or tattoo when your immune system isn't robust, even with a cold. Those with chronic conditions or autoimmune diseases face health fluctuations, and tattoos carry risks.
  • Try not to sleep during the tattoo session. Sleeping while getting a tattoo can result in sudden movements, ruining the design your artist is inking. Sleep at least 7 hours the night before the long tattoo session.
  • If you experience a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, dizziness, blushing, lightheadedness, stomach discomfort, significant swelling, severe pain, flushing, or hives, seek prompt medical attention. These symptoms could indicate a severe reaction.
  • People with high blood pressure should refrain from getting tattoos. Patients with low blood pressure may risk fainting during the tattooing process because of the temporary pain that might elevate their blood pressure levels.


It can be an exciting and rewarding experience to get a tattoo, but you need to take precautions to prevent fainting during the procedure. Whether you're prone to anxiety or have had past negative experiences, there are steps you can take to help ensure a smooth and comfortable tattoo session.

Following our tips and tricks, you can feel confident and prepared for your next tattoo appointment. Stay hydrated, relaxed, and nourished to prevent the Vaso-vagal response. And ‌choose a reputable artist who prioritizes your safety and wellbeing.

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Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • Why Does My Leg Twitch When Getting A Tattoo?

    Leg twitching is a common reaction during tattooing, showcasing the unpredictability of nerves. We instinctively sense discomfort, prompting us to adjust by stretching or clenching a fist, rekindling that sensation when restlessness sets in.

  • What Happens If I Pass Out While Getting a Tattoo?

    If you faint, most artists will stop tattooing and ensure your safety. You’ll probably have to stay in the shop for 15-30 minutes after your session to ensure you’re okay.

  • Can I Pass Out While Getting A Stomach Tattoo?

    Yes, passing out during a stomach tattoo is possible if your blood sugar drops significantly, causing light-headedness, dizziness, or fainting because of unique pain factors in the stomach area. To avoid this, eat a nutritious meal 1-2 hours before your tattoo appointment to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent complications.

  • Can You Die From Passing Out?

    The likelihood of fatality because of fainting is exceedingly minimal, with a mortality rate of less than 1% within the initial 10 days and approximately 1.6% within 30 days. Furthermore, approximately one-third of fainting instances occur with no discernible underlying health issues to account for them.

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