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30+ Diabetes Tattoo Ideas To Showcase Your Fight Against Diabetes!

by Sherri Owens

I think getting a diabetes tattoo is a good way to symbolize your fight against it. Just a few weeks ago, I did this tattoo for a client who wanted me to tattoo flowers coming out of an insulin bottle. She said she was getting it to represent the hope that insulin gave her. But all around, diabetes tattoos are great ways to spread awareness of the disease.

Naturally, there are a bunch of ways to play around with diabetes tattoos. The motifs you add will change their meaning, like the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) first logo, the hummingbird can represent the courage and energy needed to fight diabetes. But that's not it, as there are way more diabetes-related tattoos to talk about, so I thought of running through them and their different meanings below!

Best Diabetes Tattoo Ideas

Here are the best diabetes tattoo ideas around. Before I get started, if you're a diabetic looking for a tattoo, it's best if you first get cleared by your doctor before you go ahead with the tattooing. You need to make sure your blood sugar levels are up to par so that your tattoo heals.

Wording Simple Diabetes Tattoo Design

If you don't want anything flashy, you can get the 'Type 1' or 'Type 2' words tattooed on. It's not as elaborate as some of the other tattoos on my list, but it's definitely a more straightforward way to raise awareness for diabetes. You can of course add a bit of flair to the tattoo with the font you choose - I'd suggest cursive to make it look more elegant.

Also, you can abbreviate the 'Type 1' or 'Type 2' and just do T1D or T2D as your tattoo. This would be ideal if you want a design that's small and discreet and is more subtle about your diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Lettering Tattoo

Image by @chelomanosanta via Instagram

Type 1 Diabetic Insulin Dependent Text Tattoo

Image by @warriortats via Instagram

Simple Diabetes Text with Tiny Flower Tattoo

Image by @mayarajordaotattoo via Instagram

Diabetes T1 Cursive Style Wrist Tattoo

Image by @diabetescommunity via Instagram

Bold Ink Type 1 Diabetic Wrist Tattoo

Image by @diabetescommunity via Instagram

Type One Diabetic Forearm Tattoo

Image by @carolpfutattoo via Instagram

Warrior Diabetic Tattoo

Living with diabetes is no easy task and restricts even the most basic parts of your life. You can highlight this and get a 'diabetic warrior' tattooed. I've done a few of these tattoos before, with clients also wanting an insulin bottle in there to represent how important it's been to their journey.

Diabetic Type 1 Text Tattoo with Warrior Symbol

Image by @jddunlaptattoos via Instagram

I Am Greater Tattoo

I am greater than my highs and lows is a popular tattoo with diabetic patients. It's supposed to represent triumphing over the lows in your life especially the struggles of diabetes. The tattoo's a more discreet design, as it's an "I" with a greater and lesser sign. Unless someone knows what they're looking for, they won't be able to figure out your tattoo which can be ideal if you want something discreet.

I With a Greater and Lesser Sign with Heart Watercolor Tattoo

Image by @shennakiart via Instagram

Black Ink I With a Greater and Lesser Sign Leg Tattoo

Image by @pepmeup.diabetesblog via Instagram

I Am Greater Diabetic Tattoo

Image by @kinetic.diabetic via Instagram

Niffler Insulin Tattoo

Niffler's a Fantastic Beasts character with a love for shiny objects. A cool tattoo idea would be Niffler chasing after an insulin bottle. It would tie in with both your battle with diabetes and your love for the Fantastic Beats series. To make it clear that you're getting a diabetes-related tattoo, you can have an 'insulin-dependent' label next to Niffler.

Niffler Insulin Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbymissiblue via Instagram

Hummingbird Tattoo

The hummingbird was added to the International Diabetes Federation logo in 1984 and it represents the courage and energy needed to battle diabetes. Surprisingly, hummingbirds are one of the few animals that don't get diabetes, even though nectar accounts for 90% of their diet. You usually see the hummingbird surrounded by the IDF's blue circle in the background, so maybe you can add a blue ring to your tattoo as well.

Hummingbird Diabetic Tattoo with Geometric Shapes

Image by @brettfiscus_tattoos via Instagram

Simple Blue Circle Tattoo

A blue circle is another universal symbol of diabetes that the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) introduced in 2006. It's supposed to represent the unity in the community in addressing the challenges that diabetics face.

As a tattoo, the blue circle can be an abstract way to raise diabetes awareness. It also doesn't necessarily have to mean that you live with diabetes but that you have solidarity with your loved ones who are suffering from the sickness.

I've done a couple of blue circle tattoos before, with some of my clients wanting me to switch up the design. The most recent client I did the tattoo on wanted me to add a heart inside of the circle, to emphasize the love she has for the community after her mother passed from type 1 diabetes.

Watercolor Style Blue Circle Matching Tattoo

Image by @rinotattoostudio via Instagram

Blue Circle with Blood Drop Arm Tattoo

Image by @xuamastudio via Instagram

Blue and Grey Ink Ribbon

The blue and grey ribbon is another international symbol for diabetes awareness. It's a more bespoke design that also happens to be simple. It'll be perfect if you want a smaller tattoo since you won't have to worry about losing details when scaling down.

I did this blue and grey ribbon for a client once that also included a butterfly. The client wanted me to add the butterfly to represent hope in her life after starting treatment. Just like the ribbon, I did the butterfly in a blue, black, and grey ink color scheme.

Butterfly Shaped Blue Ink Diabetic Tattoo

Image by @diabeticink via Instagram

Diabetes Awareness Butterfly

Image by @inkordyestudio via Instagram

Insulin With Flowers Tattoo

You can celebrate the lease on life thanks to insulin by getting an insulin bottle with flowers coming out of it. The flowers are supposed to represent positivity, change, and vitality. The flowers you go for are completely up to you. But since blue is a popular color associated with diabetes, you can maybe include blue flowers like hydrangeas or hyacinths.

Tattoo of a Beautiful Flower Arrangement Inside a Bottle of Insulin

Image by @artkaylarose via Instagram

Black and Grey Diabetic Type 1 Flower Vase Tattoo

Image by @leoinkognito via Instagram

Insulin Flower Vase Tattoo Piece

Image by @anna.hammer_tattoo via Instagram

Insulin Bottle and Flowers Arm Tattoo

Image by @izic86 via Instagram

Insulin Bottle Tattoo

You can keep it simple and only get an insulin bottle tattooed without any flowers. It'll be a less flashy way to highlight how life-changing the drug is and how much positivity it brings you. To mix it up, you can speak to your tattoo parlor and do the insulin bottle in a hyper-realistic design. It'll be a trippy way to pay tribute to the drug.

If you want to highlight how life-saving insulin is in another simple yet interesting way, you can tattoo the chemical symbol of insulin. It'll be a good tattoo idea if you're someone who has a love for science and chemistry.

Realistic Insulin Bottle Forearm Tattoo

Image by @tatu_panda via Instagram

Black and White Tiny Insulin Bottle Arm Tattoo

Image by @amigosediabetes via Instagram

A Little Insulin and Lavender Tattoo

Image by @melanie_smith_studio via Instagram

The Insulin Molecule Arm Tattoo

Image by @bravo.inkk via Instagram

Insulin Molecule Forearm Tattoo

Image by @haydenearley via Instagram

Diabetic Sensor Diabetic Tattoo

Diabetic sensors are used for monitoring blood glucose levels and are usually placed on the skin. As a symbol of empowerment, you can get a diabetic sensor tattooed. It can represent the commitment to taking control of your health and your ongoing diabetes management.

Now would be a good time to mention what one of my clients wanted me to do for her diabetic sensor tattoo. It's kind of morbid but I think it came out really interesting looking - she wanted me to do make the diabetic sensor a part of a lollypop.

Diabetic Sensor Pop Arm Tattoo

Image by @nitsankoala via Instagram

Medical Alert Bracelet Tattoo

Medical alert jewelry is jewelry with the wearer's medical conditions listed with information like any dosages of drugs that they need. Their purpose is to tell healthcare professionals about pre-existing conditions in circumstances where the wearers might not be conscious. You can get a medical alert tattoo and have information about your diabetes tattooed to help with potential life-and-death scenarios.

A lot of the clients I've done medical alert tattoos on wanted me to do them as medical alert bracelet designs. At the end of the day, the main idea is to have this information in a spot that a doctor could easily see.

Medical Conditions List Forearm Tattoo

Image by @lopestattoo via Instagram

Diabetes Arm Tattoo

The arm is an attention-grabbing spot for a tattoo compared to other body parts. You can get your diabetes awareness tattoo here to highlight and bring attention to the disease. But arm tattoos in general don't hurt either, as there's a lot of thick skin and muscle here.

To especially make your diabetes tattoo eye-catching, you can have it on your hand or finger. But since the hand is kind of a small space to work with, you'd have to scale down your tattoo design - I remember I did this tiny insulin bottle once on a client's hand, so maybe you can try this out too.

Polynesian Design Combined Diabetic Type 1 Arm Tattoo

Image by @kirstin.young.tattoo via Instagram

Type One Diabetic Simple Letters Arm Tattoo

Image by @melissagrahamcracker via Instagram

Diabetic Tattoo with Warrior and Simple Blue Circle Tattoo

Image by @livitattoos via Instagram

Diabetes Leg Tattoo

Last but not least, you can go for a diabetes leg tattoo. The leg's a pretty big space, meaning you can get elaborate with your tattoo to spread awareness for diabetes. But legs in general are tattoo spots that don't hurt that much, especially the upper outer thigh. I actually recommend to clients to get their legs tattooed if they don't have the best pain tolerance.

Simple Blue Circle with Diabetic Quote Leg Tattoo

Image by @tattoo_addiction.new_milton via Instagram

Is There a Tattoo for Diabetes?

The answer's yes. The International Diabetes Federation first introduced the hummingbird as its logo in 1984. The hummingbird is a good representation of the courage and energy needed to battle diabetes. It'll make a good tattoo idea to symbolize the everyday struggle of the disease.

In 2006, the IDF also introduced the simple blue circle as a part of its logo. It's supposed to represent unity in helping those living with diabetes. It's an all-around good tattoo idea to show that you're an ally of the community if you don't have diabetes yourself.

I can't forget blue and grey ribbons either, as they're popular symbols to raise awareness of the disease. You can always get one as a diabetes awareness tattoo. It's a universal symbol and not just solely used by the IDF.

But apart from this, there are a few other tattoo ideas that a diabetic patient can get, like a medic alert bracelet, or even a diabetic sensor. It's all up to you and how you want to represent your struggle with diabetes as a tattoo. As I said earlier, I've done a few insulin bottles with flowers coming out of them on clients - they're supposed to symbolize the hope and positivity that insulin can bring.

Should Type 2 Diabetics Get Tattoos?

Yes, Type 2 and even Type 1 diabetics can get tattoos. It's just that your blood sugar levels must be in the proper range before getting tattooed. If not, you run the risk of your tattoo not healing, which can lead to a nasty infection.

On top of this, you also need to make sure that your blood pressure levels are on par throughout the entire tattoo process.

The thing is, you can't check your blood glucose levels and check if you're in the clear yourself. You need to visit your healthcare professional and have them test your A1C blood sugar levels - the measure of your blood sugar over the past three months. If you have a score of less than 7, you're in the clear and won't have to worry about your tattoo not healing. This means that you can also get piercings if you want.

However, if you have a score above 7, it isn't always the end of the road. The truth is that the score is not a hard or fast rule - the healthcare professional you have been seeing may still give you the green light to get a tattoo. It depends entirely on your history of diabetes and how well you've been handling the disease.

And at the end of the day, even if you're allowed to get a tattoo, you need to be mindful of where you're getting it done. For instance, if you're a diabetic with neuropathy or circulation issues in your legs, you're best off avoiding getting tattooed here. Once again, this is where speaking to a doctor beforehand comes in handy.

Why Do Tattoo Shops Ask If You Have Diabetes?

Tattoo shops ask about medical conditions and not just diabetes. It's about informed consent, as they need to assess whether tattooing you is safe. Plus, finding out whether you have diabetes or any other medical conditions will help your tattoo artist take appropriate precautions when preparing for you. So at the end day, this information helps both you and them with the tattooing process.

Final Thoughts

There are a bunch of diabetic tattoo ideas out there, like the blue circle tattoo for starters. They each are a good way to symbolize living with the disease but also raising awareness for it.

All around it's important that if you're a diabetic, you check your blood sugar levels before deciding to get a tattoo first.

Although it's a nice idea that you're trying to pay tribute to your struggle, you need the right blood sugar levels first to make sure your tattoo heals properly.

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