Is excessive tattooing a mortal sin?

I have many tattoos. The most extensive tattooing I have is a 3/4 "sleeve"on my right arm. I was going to finish it up to make it look as I had intended, but have along the way found out that it is a mortal sin to be “excessively” tattooed. I like tattoos purely for the artful decoration and mean no mutilation to my body. I certainly mean no offense to God, I just like skin art. Is this mortally sinful if I should get more?

In principle, the Church does not object to tattooing. I don’t know the context to which you refer when you say you were told “excessive tattooing” could be a mortal sin (assuming that there was full knowledge and full and free consent, in addition to the grave matter of the action), but it was possible that the person referred to the principle that one cannot purposely endanger one’s health through cosmetic enhancements. So long as there is not a danger to your health, and so long as you are not spending money on tattooing that should be spent on personal obligations, you are free to receive tattoos.

**Recommended reading:

Tattoos** by Jimmy Akin

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit