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Med Alert and Medical Tattoos

Updated on July 4, 2014

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Med Alert Tattoos

Medical alert tattoos have become the way a growing number of people choose to communicate to a potential caregiver. When time and proper treatment are a crucial factor, the tattoo can empower the professional to make the correct decisions very quickly.

A med alert tattoo can simply reveal what condition a bearer may have, or even give a shortened version of their medical records, as you'll see below.

In the case of permanent scarring, patients have also chosen to ink a tattoo over the scar to minimize the mark.

Women have used tattoos in the case of breast cancer as well, not only covering up scars, but in some cases to replace or fill in the areola (dark colored area surrounding the nipples) to make the breast look more natural.

Tattoos are also used to cover the damaged breast entirely.

As med alert tattoos and medical tattoos have become more commonplace, those choosing to be tattooed have went beyond just inking on a message (in many cases), to making it a work of art as well.

Diabetic Band Tattoo

Many people get tired of wearing a band to communicate they're a diabetic, and so choose to have a permanent band inked on them, letting those who need to know of their medical condition. The one below doesn't look half bad either.

Nice Looking Diabetic Med Alert Tattoo

Here's a look at a creative and very attractive diabetic med alert tattoo. It's probably my favorite of the many I've seen. Everything about this stands out nicely, from the word diabetic on the scroll to the needle in the middle of the image. A medical professional would have a hard time missing the message for sure.

Diabetic Tattoo Alerts

Diabetic tattoos are probably the most common of the med alert tattoos out there, the reason there are so many varieties. The two below are pretty good looking, but I do wonder about the one being placed on the upper are rather than the wrist. If you need unplanned medical attention and are wearing something over that part of the arm, it may take some precious time to discover it. I would think the wrist would be a better place.

Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos

I wouldn't have thought of placing a "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo on me, and was surprised to find these examples. It does make sense, as it leaves no doubt or uncertainty as to the wishes of the person being treated.

When my estranged mother-in-law was still alive I offered to pay for her to get one. She wasn't amused. Hehe.

Penicillin Med Alert Tattoo

Below are a couple of examples of those who can't be treated with penicillin or aspirin. The key is being in an easy to discover place and easy to see, i.e. color. Red is one of the more noticeable colors, the reason research has shown red on white backgrounds is the easiest to see when advertising. I think that's why the red and burgundy is used below.

Medical Alert Tattoo with Several Warnings

While the message is the most important, I do like the clear way it is being communicated below, along with the tattoo itself being designed in a way where it isn't overly intrusive. For example, the way the words were put horizontally and vertically. That way the message could be conveyed and still have a nice look to it.

Pacemaker Tattoo Med Alert

The pacemaker tattoo med alert below is a pretty cool looking and effective piece. Red was the color of choice to draw attention, and the heart and pacemaker symbol in the middle clearly delivers the important message.


Many people with epilepsy live in fear of being wrongly diagnosed and treated, and so also have chosen to communicate their condition via a tattoo med alert. What is compelling about the one below is the font used; especially the "E" at the beginning.

Tattoos to Cover Breast Cancer Treatment

Tattoos have for some time been a significant choice for women experiencing disruption from surgery on their breasts because of cancer. Here are a couple of samples of what some women chose in order to cover up the scarring and consequences.

I don't want to give the impression that anyone can just get tattooed and have everything taken care of, as all the outcomes won't be as positive as those seen below. Nonetheless, there are choices because of tattooing that women of the past didn't have, and it's great having an alternative.

It's amazing to see how tattooing has enhanced the health of people who choose to communicate their conditions in a permanent way in order to prevent any uncertainty as to how they should be treated, as well as the use of ink to cover up scarring from the tragedy of breast cancer, among other ailments.


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    • dysfakto profile image

      dysfakto 6 years ago from USA

      Great article! Well written with eyecatching pictures.

      @Jennie-- I'm in EMT training now and it's standard practice to look for these, considering they go right where a traditional med alert bracelet would.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 6 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      This is so amazing. I have never seen this before nor have I ever even thought of it. I will be sharing this hub with my friends. Do you think that medical emt's or personal have the awareness to look out for these tattoos?