Typically, the tattoo artist uses a hand-held machine that acts much like a sewing machine, with one or more needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With every puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets. The process causes a certain amount of bleeding and pain.
The Tattoo & Body Piercing Establishment program is in place to prevent injury and the possible transmission of disease through tattoos and body piercings. The state law and rules for this program require annual licensing and inspection of these facilities as stated OAC 3701-9.
Our inspections look at the overall sanitation of the facilities to assure compliance with the state code requirements. The inspection criteria include: operator certification in tattoo and body piercing procedures, first aid, and universal procedures for bloodborne pathogens; maintaining overall sanitation of work areas and equipment; maintaining proper operation of sterilization equipment; maintaining records of sterilizer tests and of patrons; having established written procedures for tattoo and body piercing aftercare, employee health, equipment use, and contingencies for equipment failure.
Anyone considering a tattoo or piercing should be aware of the risks and follow certain guidelines when choosing a tattoo or piercing establishment. If not done properly, tattoos and body piercings can come with serious health side effects. Anyone who is considering a tattoo or body piercing should seriously consider the health risks and the long-term effects associated with tattoos and piercings. You should get a tattoo or pierce from a reputable facility that is licensed and inspected by the local health district.
Employees at licensed establishments are trained to ensure that procedures are done in a way that minimizes the transmission of communicable diseases and the risk of infection. Employees are also required by the state to be trained in first aid, control of transmission of infectious disease, universal precautions against blood-borne pathogens and appropriate aftercare.
Don’t allow an untrained friend to give you a tattoo or piercing. Don’t attempt to do it yourself either. Go to a body art studio that employs only properly trained artists. In the state of Ohio, body art establishments must be annually inspected by the local health department and are required to have the Approval To Operate certificate. Contact us for a full list of body studios in Wayne County that we have inspected and have been granted an Approval to Operate certificate.
Make sure the body artist washes his or her hands and wears a fresh pair of protective gloves for each procedure. This is for both your protection and theirs.
To reduce the risk of hepatitis, make sure needles and tubes are removed from sealed packages. Pigments, trays, or containers should also be unused. Diluting ink should be done with sterile water NOT tap water.
Again, to reduce the risk of hepatitis, make sure the artist uses a heat sterilization machine (autoclave) to sterilize all nondisposable equipment between customers. Instruments and supplies that can’t be sterilized such as drawer handles, tables, and sinks, should be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution before each use.
Ohio law requires body art establishments to provide each patron with verbal and written care instructions.
- Remove any bandaging within 2-24 hours. Follow care instructions provided by the body artist.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment, not petroleum jelly, to a tattoo while it’s healing until a scab is formed.
- Keep the skin clean. Use plain soap and water, and a gentle touch. While showering, avoid direct streams of water on the newly tattooed or pierced skin. Pat, don’t rub, dry.
- Use mild moisturizer several times a day on newly tattooed skin.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds. Keep tattoos out of the sun for at least a few weeks.
If you think your tattoo or piercing might be infected or you’re concerned that it is not healing properly, contact a healthcare provider immediately.