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Tattoo and Piercing Safety

Overview

If you are thinking about having a tattoo or body piercing, go to a reputable studio. Look for or ask about the following:

  • Is it clean?
    • The entire studio, including the washroom, should be clean.
  • Do the tattoo or piercing artists follow these steps to prevent infection?
    • Wash their hands before putting on new, disposable gloves.
    • Clean the client's skin properly with iodine or alcohol before the procedure.
    • For tattoos, they use sterile equipment, new needles, and disposable single-use ink cups for each tattoo. And they use sterile water to dilute ink or rinse needles during tattooing.
    • For body piercing, they use sterile needles that are only used once.
  • What type of training does the person doing the tattooing or piercing have?
  • Is a piercing gun used to do the procedure?
    • Do not have any kind of piercing done with a piercing gun. These instruments increase your risk of infection because they cannot be sterilized between procedures.

  • What kind of jewellery is used for the piercing?
    • For a new piercing, use non-allergenic jewellery made of material such as surgical steel, gold, or titanium.
    • Do not use nickel or brass-plated jewellery.
    • Choose jewellery that has not been used or worn or that has been sterilized.

Credits

Current as of: November 16, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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