Any profession that deals with the human body and particularly
that which there is an open wound and sharp object present,
requires the utmost importance in the focus on the prevalence
of and possibility that a disease or infection might be introduced
into the area. Tattoo is no exception to this by any means. A
tattoo artist must not only be an artist, but he must be knowledgeable
in many other sectors as well. The most important
knowledge area is obviously that of biological fluid contamination
and infection prevention.
Diseases and infections are not easily avoided by the simple
act of wearing gloves. There is a lot more to the overall picture
of preventative health in the tattoo world. The reason that many
studios are not to what I would consider “in compliance” can be
linked directly to the lack of enforcement by both local and federal
governments. This subject could be another book altogether
if anyone feels up to the challenge.
Once the artists are familiar with the
importance of, and the actual reality of infection by the tattoo
process, they can then educate the rest of the studio employees
and their clients.
Why even bother with self-education, let alone educating your
There are numerous reasons for education. The first reason,
it makes you, the artist, a better member of society along with
giving you a sense of pride in knowing that you are making a
conscious effort to do the right thing. Sounds kind of ridiculous,
I know. Yet this is called ethics in this profession and ethics are
a far cry from ridiculous. The tattoo industry is evolving and the
stigma of the stained tank-top wearing, drunken biker using a
rusty old tattoo machine is all but gone. You, as a tattoo artist,
need to be an educated professional with a strong foundation of
ethics. This means that you not only know the type of diseases
that are out there, but you are making a conscious effort to prevent
and educate others about the existence of such diseases.