A tattoo artist is a professional career, and one that takes years of training to gain a licence. For those involved in the beauty sector, you’ll know the responsibilities you have concerning skin care of your customers.
The same applies to tattoo parlours, and to operate in the business, artists need to obtain a licence from their local council.
The rates vary dependent upon location but the concern lies with those who operate tattoo services in their garden sheds, or a spare room. A warning was recently issued from the Local Government Association, (LGA) concerning health issues, due to increasing operations of illegal tattoo parlours, operating without licences, and for the most part, having no formal training.
At the present time, tattoo equipment is unregulated, leading to anyone being able to buy up the equipment and start offering their services from home. As more people are faced with unemployment benefits, the affordability of professional services is quite often not something people can afford.
Illegal parlours are taking advantage of this, and advertising cheaper services through social media platforms, and also word of mouth between people they’ve already done a tattoo for.
Consumer awareness is the main issue being addressed by the LGA, as people often assume that common sense prevails when it comes to using needles.
The truth of it is that it takes a great deal of knowledge and care, to both store and sterilise any tattoo equipment, being used on a persons’ skin. It’s the reason the licensing laws exist for tattoo artists.
Without proper care and cleaning, people are at a higher risk of health conditions, such as HIV and Hepatitis.
For the people who are running their businesses efficiently and above board, they’re seeing a rise in correction work, rather than doing the art side of the job. With so many backstreet operations, looking to cash in on the growing demand for body art, it’s creating a rise in correcting botched up work.
It’s estimated that the UK has over 1’500 licensed tattoo parlours, with artists passionate about their line of work, who are ultimately left fixing botched up tattoos, rather than doing what they trained to do, and pay their fees.
Fees can vary anywhere from £150 – £250 for registration, with average fees over £300 due annually to renew the licences.
As illegal parlours don’t have the costs of premises and license fees, they’re able to offer the services at a fraction of the cost. Some will not even bother with additional sterilising equipment, which raises the health risks to the public.
Unsterilized needles being exposed to the skin, raises concerns of a multitude of skin infections that can be caused. It could lead to conditions such as HIV, and Hepatitis. This is the health warning that’s been issued by the LGA, to raise public awareness of the issues.
Customers are advised that if they’re looking for any tattoo work to be done, or an ink removal service, that they should do thorough research into the company, or person being considered for the work.
That includes asking about the cleaning procedures of the equipment being used, and ensuring that the person doing the work does have a licence from the local council. Operating an unlicensed tattoo service is illegal, and perpetrators could face up to 2 years imprisonment.
Local authorities are also able to seize and destroy any equipment used for the service, under the Health and Safety at Work Act.