tatooHi my name is Maria Patricia and I own a laser clinic where one of the predominant treatments is tattoo removal. Over the years I have noticed alarming numbers of my clients that have had tattoos done when they were young, under the age of 18, and some even as young as 12 years old. These tattoos are usually done in homes with tattoo equipment bought online. Tattooists need to have hygiene certificates and council checks for their premises in order to do tattoos, and not to mention that it is only legal for them to tattoo someone 18 or over. So why is the sale of this equipment not regulated online? There is a high risk of infection like HIV and Hepatitis C involved as well as the risk of scaring to the skin, as inexperienced tattooists rip at the skin while tattooing. There is also a risk of scaring if the tattoo becomes infected with bacteria. There are also risks involving the ink sold with this machinery, as many home tattooists will buy as cheap as they can find. Some machinery can be purchased for as little as £35 with inks and needles all included. Cheap inks come from abroad and less likely to be regulated. The cheap ink has been found to have carcinogenic chemicals like nickel, lead and even arsenic. Some points to consider when getting tattooed in someone’s home by an unregulated Tattooist are:

  1. Getting tattooed in a kitchen, where there is an abundance of bacteria and mould
    spores on the surfaces. Most home tattoos are done in this area too.
  2. Home tattooists use tap water, which is not ideal as it contains bacteria, which can
    flourish on open skin.
  3. A real tattoo machine does not mean you will get a proper tattoo, as an
    inexperienced tattooist can even cause damage to the skin using expensive
  4. If there’s a pet or an infant in the home, there will be unusual levels of bacteria, one example being ringworm, which is commonly transferred from cats to humans, and this fungus flourishes on broken skin.
  5. The home most likely has NOT been inspected by the council, for safety and
  6. Who are you going to blame if there is scaring or serious infection involving
    the home tattoo? No claims could be made as casual tattooists don’t usually have
    public liability.
  7. Many casual tattooists organise tattoo parties and these are potentially dangerous
    as these tattoos are done under the influence of alcohol, and they are usually
    rushed as party guests are queuing up for theirs.
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