T1D medical alert tattoos?



We have been seriously thinking at very small dot tattoos to help with site rotation (for triangulation/ positioning purposes) btw.

So I must ask a question (I am pretty naive on this): is there a safe way to get tattoos? Some kind of sanitation guarantee? After all, it could be like sharing needles.


I only have one tattoo but have been with many other people while getting theirs in many different countries all over the world and it was always a very sterile process that gave me no concern for bloodborne pathogens whatsoever… they use new / sterilized equipment. It wouldn’t be a heavy concern of mine at any reputable established tattoo business.


My other advice would be to get something he actually wants. I just spent over $1000 to have My wife’s college abomination tattoo covered up with this…

So my advice is to get something meaningful to him. IF he wants dots, make it into something cool… his favorite constellations, something that means something to him that he’ll love and be proud of instead of “dots to help with site rotation” that can also serve the purpose of reference points on his skin


Here are some good looking ones for men and women:


After that Reddit thread I looked back into bracelets and found several similar to my watchband, which I’m fine with. Right now I’m leaning towards getting this one- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E8A3UOK/ref=ox_sc_mini_detail?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WKBU1YCTLGES
I can also use the medical info lockscreen app on Android and get the inside of this band engraved with “See phone for medications”.


I was a volunteer EMT for a while and we never learned to look for tattoo’s. If they jump out at us and we notice them, great…but we don’t strip folks to search for tattoos. Jewelry, phones, wallets/purses, etc.


A while back we had a conversation that might add to this discussion and I mentioned the RoadID brand. EH has been happy with his. While I can’t get it to show up properly from my phone, there’s a link IN the below link to take you there.


My friend who is a paramedic said they are trained to check for bracelets, not tattoos, so recommends against getting them for the purpose of notifying paramedics. If you want one otherwise, great though! He said that for medic alert jewelry to be effective, it has to be reasonably identifiable as such, so you don’t want it too well disguised as other jewelry. He also said that they check the blood glucose of anyone unconscious or semi-conscious as standard practice, regardless of whether they are known to be a diabetic.

Personally, I feel comfortable with a wallet card and then utilizing the emergency medical info function on my iPhone (so it’s available even when my phone is locked). I highly recommend everyone with a smart phone set that up. I figure if my wallet and phone, as well as my other diabetes supplies, are missing or destroyed, probably something besides the diabetes is the more pressing medical issue anyway…

Tattoos are like piercings in that reputable places take sterilization and hygiene extremely seriously. Don’t go just anywhere—do your homework to find a highly regarded place/artist who takes all precautions.


I started med school 18 years ago and of the 17 million tatoos of all descriptions I’ve seen on human bodies, not one of them (that I know of) has had info about a medical condition. So that’s one anecdotal piece of info about how likely medical providers are to check your tattoo for medical info. My grandfather actually had dog tag style medic alert necklace in the 1940s, maybe before men could wear bracelets! So that would be one alternative if you don’t like bracelets. My 14 yo has stretch rubber medic alert bracelets which he prefers, the best type have the letters stamped in rather than just painted on. In truth there are all kinds of accidents/medical emergencies and the same thing isn’t helpful for everything. In the case of a trauma, believe me they are gonna cut your clothes off in the ER and roll you 360 degrees looking for hidden injuries,as well as going through your possessions for ID, so if you’re wearing a pump or carrying diabetes supplies, all will be known. The safest thing in this case, if you’re not obviously an adolescent and you don’t wear a pump, is to put a label in your meter saying name/DOB, endos information and that you’re Type 1, since most adult diabetics have type 2. On the other hand, as the EMT said, if you’re unresponsive and being assessed by emergency personnel, BG check is likely to be done pretty early on even if nothing alerts them. To me the worst case scenario is if you’re unresponsive in a situation where a layperson is trying to assess you and mistakes it for intoxication…but I’m not sure either tattoo or bracelet will help you there since people don’t usually get that close…suggest just trying not to have your massive low on a park bench or during a frat party without bringing along a friend :grin:. Outside of wearing an “it’s diabetes stupid” t shirt every day, not sure there is a solution for that one.


Right? I had a butterfly. It’s now a fire-breathing dragon.


I feel like @Eric needs one of these…


@Sam, I love that. Worth every penny, I’d say. :heart::heart: