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Health Risks of Tattooing and Piercing

What You Should Know Before

Hepatitis B vaccine will help protect you from hepatitis B, but there is no vaccine for hepatitis C or HIV.

There is an elevated risk of infection in amateur tattoos and piercing studios. However, infection from tattooing in clean and modern tattoo studios employing single-use needles is rare.

Good tattoo or piercing studio will have a well-lit, clean and sanitary, work environment. All surfaces should be made of hard material that is easy to clean. All the instruments used should be made of quality stainless steel that can be easily cleaned and sterilized. They should also have proper sterilizer (preferably a steam sterilizer) to sterilize their equipment. A test strips should be used to indicate whether the machine is operating correctly. 

Practitioners performing the procedure should have clean working habits, including washing their hands before and after procedures, after handling contaminated items, before opening and handling sterile supplies, and before putting on and after removing their gloves.

Tattoo and piercing needles should always be brand new and sterile for each treatment. They should never be reused.

Only new fresh ink in disposable ink caps should be used for your tattoo. Sharing ink is like sharing dirty needles, so make sure your artist use only new ink from small disposable containers.

If shaving is needed, they should use a new disposable razor.

The areas to be tattooed should be totaly clean, usually first with soap and water and then with a skin antiseptic.

Those performing the procedure should use new gloves for each customer and during the whole procedure.

A sterile non-stick bandage should cover your tattoo before you leave.

Make sure that artist you use is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you shouldn't be either.

Good professional tattoo artist studio will make sure you leave with oral and written aftercare instructions.

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