Polls show that somewhere between 20 percent and 40 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of a tattoo.
But does having a tattoo prevent you from donating blood? Probably not.
The most important factor is where you had the tattoo done. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which sets national guidelines for blood centers, you can get a tattoo and then donate blood if the tattoo parlor was licensed by the state, used sterile needles and did not re-use ink.
The tattoo needs to be fully healed by the day of your donation, and it cannot cover the inside of the forearm, where the donation is collected.
But even if your tattoo was done at a non-licensed parlor, or in a state that does not license tattoo parlors, you are eligible after 12 months. (In the United States, there is no licensing in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah or Wyoming.)