GETTING A TATTOO AT A MATES PLACE
So you and your mates have been watching the tattoo shows on TV and know all the names of the artists, and you feel you know
how to tattoo. Your mate has a tattoo machine and they can draw, so you think it should be ok?
PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU INK
Tattooing isn’t just putting a picture into the skin, it is a lot more. I won’t go into the artistic elements, the technical aspects, or even
the appropriate tools that professional tattooist are trained to use. I will only dwell on some of the hygienic issues of tattooing.
Before you sit in your mates lounge, kitchen or garage and wait for them to tattoo you, think about what’s actually going to happen -
is the needle new and sterile? Does the tattoo machine have a cross contamination bag covering it? Is the tip and grip on the tattoo
machine sterile? Is there a sterilizer machine (Autoclave) in the room where they could have sterilized their instruments? As
washing in an antiseptic solution will not sterilize the instruments and make them safe for use. Will they wear gloves in all
procedures? Remember if body art isn’t done properly you can suffer nerve damage, scarring or infections.
This is why we have Health Departments, who monitor all professional tattoo studios in Australia. All States are different, some
studios have to be licensed, others must be registered with the local council, but in all instances a professional studio must ensure
that all tattoos carried out are done in a clean, hygienic environment with sterile equipment.
These regulations are not put in place to give you a hard time, they are there for a good reason - to protect you.
DO NOT PLACE YOUR HEALTH AT RISK
Go to a professional tattoo studio/premises where tattooist are trained to work with high standards of infection control, workplace
disinfection, equipment sterilization, and the premises are monitored by the health department.
Below are some of the documented infections that you may, or can, contract if you go to an amateur for a tattoo.
• BACTERIAL INFECTIONS; There are a number of bacterial infections that can be spread by poor hygiene practices,
un-sterile equipment or cross contamination, by an amateur tattooist, or by you not being told the right aftercare instructions.
• HEPATITIS B; this is transmitted by blood to blood, so there can be a risk of infection if the equipment being used isn’t
sterile. This is a viral disease and is curable, however a person can take years to fully recover. So ask yourself again as you
sit in your mates place to get the cheap tattoo, is it worth the risk? This virus has an effective vaccine available.
• HEPATITIS C; this virus is also carried in the blood, like hepatitis B. Those who contract it can pass it on to others, their
partners and their children. So equipment that hasn’t been sterilized or bad instrument hygiene standards by an amateur can
pose a major risk. There is no cure and no preventive vaccine.
• HIV/AIDS; this is also a blood to blood transmitted infection. So if the equipment being used isn’t sterile, and is
contaminated with infected blood, it can pose a risk of infection. There is no vaccine or cure.
SO PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU INK
Is a cheap tattoo worth the risk to your health? Don’t go to an amateur.
VISIT A PROFESSIONAL TATTOOIST,
IT IS WORTH THE PEACE OF MIND AND YOUR HEALTH
INFORMATION SHEET – IFC1