Do you have a Diabetic Alert Tattoo?

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2014-07-25 12:06:09 -0500
Started 2014-03-03 12:54:47 -0600

We're putting together a slideshow of some of the awesome diabetic body art that people who follow us on Facebook and here on Diabetic Connect have chosen as a way to make sure that in an emergency, first-responders will know they have diabetes.

If you are one of those who has a diabetic alert tattoo and you'd like to contribute a photo of your tattoo to our slideshow, please take a photo and send it to small.

Let me know if you have any questions.

54 replies

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-03-09 13:41:20 -0500 Report

My answer is no, I never heard of it before. I guess I'd better research it.

jayabee52 2014-05-19 02:10:18 -0500 Report

I believe, Trudie that the medic alert bracelet is far superior, especially in this environment where a lot of ppl have tats out the ying yang. Tats almost become visual pollution on the body. Some are definitely beautiful and some are not. Have you seen a tattoo on an elderly man, especially once his chest sags and he has grown pot belly. Not very inspiring.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-21 15:06:53 -0500 Report

Iv'e never seen a diabetic tattoo before but i guess the first thing that comes to my mind is OUCH!!!!. Even if they are beautiful, and I agree I have seen some that are - but- OUCH!!!

KG66 2014-03-09 09:36:49 -0500 Report

I have a tattoo that has to do about my diabetes. It is not a medical alert tattoo, I just wanted something to do with Diabetes since I will have it for the rest of my life! :P It's one my back and has a blue circle (the diabetic symbol) with a drop of blood in the center and a big butterfly. I love it. I find it suits me! :)

pumper1 2014-03-06 20:52:46 -0600 Report

I never have gotten a tattoo, period. I guess all the shots over the past 40 years and all the finger sticks, I never wanted anybody 'sticking; me more, My wallet has all my info in it and if that doesn't do it maybe my insulinpump would give them a clue.

lanykins 2014-03-09 11:32:42 -0500 Report

I wear a Medic-Alert bracelet that says I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. It also says other things important such as my pacemaker. There is a phone number that whoever is caring for you can call and Medic-Alert will tell them who my doctors are and all the medications I am on. This gives them all they need to know to treat you.

lanykins 2014-05-18 19:11:54 -0500 Report

I would never want a tattoo. Besides not liking them, I don't think an emergency responder would look for one.

CHenry9973 2014-03-06 15:15:31 -0600 Report

let me see if this works .. Click here: Medical History Bracelet not sure if that link works or not, but in your search engine type in CARE Medical History Bracelet.. it should show. They have a new version coming out I don't care much for..looks like the chip can be removed and people tend to loose those, I would assume. The older one is the one I have. And I love it.

theladyiscrazy 2014-03-06 08:01:33 -0600 Report

Sorry but I don't do tatoos. It is bad enough I have to have shots. I am not doing more needles. LOL. I am looking into the medic alert bracelets.

CHenry9973 2014-03-06 06:06:38 -0600 Report

I will not be getting a diabetic tattoo or any other tattoo. I have the care alert bracelet, it has a usb plug that can be inserted into any computer and ALL my medical information is there for the doctor, emt, or anyone who needs to access it to see. Many diabetics have other ailments and mine whould take up my entire arm. With the care bracelet, all my prescriptions are listed (which can be updated as my prescriptions change), my medical insurance, my next of kin, other contacts and most importantly my allergies are listed. Hard to do all that with a tattoo… don't ya think?

Chairmaker 2014-03-06 14:16:44 -0600 Report

Where did you get your "Care Alert Bracelet" at CHenry9973 if you don't mind me asking. Sounds even better than what I recently suggested about getting a Military style dog-tags style, especially if you can list any and all medications and such and up date it when needed.

CHenry9973 2014-03-06 15:20:08 -0600 Report

let me see if this works .. Click here: Medical History Bracelet not sure if that link works or not, but in your search engine type in CARE Medical History Bracelet.. it should show. They have a new version coming out I don't care much for..looks like the chip can be removed and people tend to loose those, I would assume. The older one is the one I have. And I love it. You can make any changes to your information you need to make, you control what is on the bracelet, you can control who has access to it. It lists family history, and if you have an unusual desease in your family you can add that as well. All prescriptions will fit as well as over the counter meds you may take. It is just really a great item! If I remember the cost was around $30 .. but well worth it.

nzingha 2014-03-05 11:06:32 -0600 Report

First of all.. i am just getting used to this new addition to DC.. but how do i start my own discussion without interrupting the thread of this one? and i cant seem to find my old private discussions with associates.. I will not use the word 'friends' because I don't think it's appropriate .. the word has been mis-used thanks to FB… I think associates is so much more appropriate.. or DC links could be considered…

shorty1965 2014-03-04 19:50:40 -0600 Report

I was told if you had a tat you could not give blood transfusion because of the of the parents at my job told me about that and said her son could not give her blood because he had got a tat a few weeks earlier so I never got one.

OldSugarFreak 2014-03-05 15:21:23 -0600 Report

Not necessarily true. The Red Cross wants either a 1 year waiting period or that the tat be done by a licensed tattoo shop before they will accept blog from someone with a tattoo.

shorty1965 2014-03-06 13:10:47 -0600 Report

I just said because a parent that had a son with tats could not get a blood transfusion from him.i don't no much about tats but my son and about 15 young adults do them.but I'm not going to get one just in case I ever have one of my grands or my kids need blood.

TopazDee 2014-03-04 17:23:56 -0600 Report

Which do you think is best a medi Alert tattoo or bracelet not only do I have D but COPD allergy to anti-inflammatories, those are the 3 main things among a list of medical conditions.

CHenry9973 2014-03-06 06:11:02 -0600 Report

try the care bracelet. It is a bracelet that connects to a computer and all your medical information is there for the doctor, emt, or anyone who you deem needs it. You can keep your prescriptions up to date and your health insurance. They also have a place for next of kin, or other emergency contacts. I love mine.

TopazDee 2014-03-06 17:57:13 -0600 Report

Thanks love but we don't have such specialised Medi Alert things in UK just bog standard ones xxx

Chairmaker 2014-03-05 20:30:55 -0600 Report

You can also get a set of Military style dog-tags off of e-Bay that you can have personalized with your information. That is what I did for both my wife and I. I checked on getting one of those bracelets and / or a neck-less medical alert but the cost of them was unbelievable.

granniesophie 2014-03-04 15:15:06 -0600 Report

I think its a cool idea, if only for experessing yourself in body art.
If I got one for medical reasons, it would take up a large part of my body!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-04 12:07:34 -0600 Report

John as a former EMT and having recently had a discussion with a paramedic friend, I can tell you that first responders are not trained to look for a medical alert tattoo. If the person has a lot of tattoos, they are not going to look at all of them to find them.

We looked for bracelets or a card in a wallet or purse. It is the dead of winter, with people wearing layers of clothing, if something happened outside, paramedics are not going to undress a person. I have cut all kinds of clothing off of people including boots.

If people want a diabetic tattoo, I would suggest they also have on a bracelet and keep a card on them at all times. When a person is injured or in distress, the tattoo is not going to give information. A bracelet has medical information on it which helps. This is what we used to treat a lot of diabetics.

CHenry9973 2014-03-06 15:47:39 -0600 Report

Have you seen the electronic medic alert bracelets? I have a care medic alert bracelet and all the medic's have to do is remove the bracelet and plug it into their onboard computer and all my medical information is on there… all my diagnosis', all my prescriptions, my insurance information, my allergies, and even a picture of me so they can verify I am the one the information is for… even if I am unconcence in the middle of the (Sorry my spelling is so bad) I highly reccomend the CARE medical history bracelet, (and no I am not a part of the company, just a very happy customer.)

Chris Clement
Chris Clement 2014-03-04 13:08:08 -0600 Report

I have my diabetic tat (upper arm, not intended for medic alert) and my necklace. Might get a wrist medic alert tat soon, but would still wear my necklace as well.

Chris Clement
Chris Clement 2014-03-04 10:18:10 -0600 Report

It's not just about the 'medic alert,' although that is, in my opinion, a great reason to get a diabetes tattoo. True, many medics won't check, but many will. Aside from that purpose, though, a diabetes tattoo can be a piece of body art with no other purpose than personal. Mine is a reminder, a sign of me owning my diabetes, and an attempt to raise diabetes awareness. I'm very happy with mine. Very proud of it. If anyone else has the same, submit it for this slideshow.

Chairmaker 2014-03-03 17:03:23 -0600 Report

Because I have so many tattoo's, I am not sure a first responder would even notice one regarding a "Diabetic Alert". What I do have is a set of dog tags, just like the ones used in the Military. It states my name, blood type and also list that I am type 2 diabetic, CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and that I am "A"-Fib along with my D.O.B..

You can have them made to order with your information from e-Bay for very little cost. I think I paid $5.00 for a pair of them, one set, (2 tags to a set ) for me and one set for my wife since we are usually together when we do road trips and such with the motorcycle club we belong to or just traveling in the car. We keep one tag clipped to the zipper on our jackets and one attached to our key ring. Plus we also let everyone we ride with know that if anything was to ever happen such as an accident or what have you, they know we have the tags.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-04 13:15:05 -0600 Report

Chairmaker you are correct. If you are in an accident, a tattoo is the last thing a paramedic is going to look for. I think it jeopardizes your immediate care. Your dog tags would stand out and be seen immediately.

mjhorgan 2014-03-03 16:56:25 -0600 Report

I have two tattoo's but I don't have a diabetic one yet. I want to get one, but I have been waiting for the EMT community to look for and accept a tattoo as a medic alert symbol. Right now EMT will not accept a tattoo to direct them about your medical condition. I know there was a group a few years ago working on some tattoo standards that the first responders would accept. would want a tattoo that was nice/cool but also served the medic alert needs. to EMT's/

margokittycat 2014-03-03 16:13:51 -0600 Report

Sorry no tattoo's here. 7 years ago I really really wanted one but never got one and now I am glad I did not get one. I don't want to be stuck withit for the rest of my life. At the time I realy really liked it and now I don't. I just can't see myself wit any tattoo's.

draco59 2014-03-03 15:28:37 -0600 Report

I have tat's, 8 with at least 3 more in the design stage. but never thought about on for diabetes. But now with most states regulating tattoo parlors, most have a lengthy form to read and sign, the normal stuff, but more and more are asking health questions and so will even refuse to do one on a person, unless cleared by a MD, and some won't even do it then… and when I got my latest one little over a yr. ago, diabetes was one of the questions, I said yes and we talked about it, in the end it wasn't a problem but was told some tattooist will not do them… and even today there are labels placed on people with tat's, yes I know some are over board and in bad taste, but none the less, the next generation running this country with be tattooed and priced… I'm not going to get one…

nzingha 2014-03-03 14:17:02 -0600 Report

dont do the tattoo thing at all.. dont like it .. dont think it's good for ur body…i use a bracelet and that works fine for me.. i never ever take it off…

Love#6 2014-03-03 21:59:52 -0600 Report

Yes but if you sign up(get a bracelet) then you are nationally certified on a board that all they have to do if someone finds you is type your name in and your history comes up

Chairmaker 2014-03-03 17:18:30 -0600 Report

I had checked into getting one of those myself but could not believe the price they were asking for them. Unbelievable ! However, I finally decided to get a set of Military style dog tags made from a site on e-Bay that listed my info to alert anyone coming to my aid in case I was unable to speak.

rcmodelr 2014-03-03 13:55:52 -0600 Report

Some tattoos may be nice to look at, but I've never considered any type of tattoo.
The way my luck goes, if I decided to get some sort of Diabetes Alert ID type tattoo, within a few months of the tattoo being finished and permanently on me is exactly when a cure would be found and used on me. Then I'd go the rest of my life falsely telling doctors or Ambulance staff that I have Diabetes via the tattoo just because I had spent so much on the tattoo I was unable to afford to have the tattoo removed.

Chairmaker 2014-03-03 17:12:28 -0600 Report

That is why I posted about having a set of Military style dog tags made with the info an EMT., First Responder or MD would need in case you were unable to let them know.

Not to mention that since my wife and ride motorcycles, asphalt is one of the most effective way of removing a tattoo due to "road-rash". That being said, chances are any of the above would probably not even notice a tattoo alert on your body.

Coach Cheryl
Coach Cheryl 2014-03-03 13:23:41 -0600 Report

I'd like to see them, never really thought about a diabetic tattoo. Though if one reverses their diabetes you're stuck with the tattoo! ;)

mjhorgan 2014-03-03 16:58:24 -0600 Report

If I could ever be curved from T1D I would keep the tattoo anyway. After 35 years diabetes will always be a major part of my life even if they find a cure.

Love#6 2014-03-03 22:03:41 -0600 Report

I agree I would of like to have gotten a Tat, but i fell and broke my leg in three places and have screws and a plate in my leg, plus after having Type one Diabetes for 44years I would love for them to find a cure, I would keep the Tat if I had ever gotten one to prove you can live with it and still do everything everyone else does in your life

robertoj 2014-03-03 13:17:43 -0600 Report

No I don't nor will I. I have an illness that passes from blood to blood and it's not worth taking the chance of infecting anyone else. Otherwise it is a wonderful idea.