Things to consider when having a tattoo:

  • It is illegal to tattoo someone under the age of 18, and a parent cannot give consent on your behalf (unless it is performed for medical reasons by a qualified medical practitioner or a person working under their direction)
  • Tattoo's are permanent, so take your time to choose the design and position of the tattoo. Will you still be happy with it in 10 or 20 years?
  • Check the artwork of the artist first. Have they been recommended by someone you know and trust? Ask to see examples of their work, and check that the style and quality of the work is what you are looking for
  • Never go to a tattooist or studio that has not been registered or licenced to practice - these are illegal and the artist will probably not have been properly trained and may not be following proper hygienic procedures to prevent infection. If they are registered/licensed they will have a certificate on display, showing you which artists have been registered at that address
  • Ensure that the artist uses sterile needles. A good artist will remove the needle from the packaging in front of you, and will be happy to demonstrate that they are following correct procedures and answer your questions. If they are not, then go elsewhere
  • You are not allowed to donate blood for 4 months after having a tattoo
  • All artists are expected to follow the guidelines in the Kent Code of Practice for Hygienic Skin Piercing and the 'Tattooing and Body Piercing Guidance Toolkit'. These are both available to download and will help you understand the procedures you can expect to be followed

If you are thinking about having a tattoo, have a look at this short video 'Before you ink think':

What are the risks involved with having a tattoo:

  • Localised swelling and bleeding
  • If the correct hygiene procedures are not followed there is a risk of infection, including blood borne viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis
  • Localised infections – usually caused by bacteria on the skin – good aftercare can prevent infection
  • Septicaemia – a serious systemic infection (ie: affecting the whole body). It may be life threatening and requires immediate treatment with antibiotics

If you have any concerns about a tattooist or the premises they are working from, contact us using our Online form. We can only deal with hygiene related issues, we are unable to comment or deal with the quality of the artwork.