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How can I protect myself from any health issues related to tattooing and body piercing?

How can I protect myself from any health issues related to tattooing and body piercing?

ghcmWhile tattooing and body piercing are becoming increasingly popular among the youth here in Seychelles, how often do we sit and think of health related issues that may be associated with it? This month’s Youth Health segment provides you with answers to a very important question from one of our readers, and brings you some insight on safe practices you NEED to look out for when venturing into tattooing or body piercing. Unsafe skin penetration procedures like when placing tattoos or piercing, can potentially spread deadly viruses such as hepatitis and HIV. If you are considering having a tattoo or piercing, make sure you choose an experienced professional, be well informed about the dangers and safe technique. Protecting yourself Most professional tattooists and body piercers are aware of the potential risks involved and take care to follow good infection control practices. However, here are a few tips to look out for in making these activities much safer: Make sure the place where the tattooing or piecing is being done is clean The tattooist or person doing the piercing must also observe good hygiene to avoid contamination of instruments and materials Use correct cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation methods One time use and safe disposal of all used equipment such as needles. Reducing the risk of infection Before and after attending each client, ensure the tattooist or piercer wash and dry hands thoroughly using single use disposable paper towels or a hot-air dryer. Tattooist or piercer must wear clean disposable gloves at all times during the procedure. Disposable covers (such as plastic wrap) should be used to protect work surfaces. All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned after each client. Clean towels and linen must be used for each client. Tattooing or piercing equipment must be sterile and should be presented to the client in its sterile container before use. BODY PIERCING Piercing guns Piercing guns are commonly used to pierce the ear lobe. Guns using pre-sterilised studs and butterflies with protective disposable fittings are preferable as there is no direct contact of the gun with your skin. After every use, the gun must be wiped over with 70% alcohol, or another suitable disinfectant. Piercing guns must be used only as recommended by the manufacture • All needles and tubing must be disposed of immediately after use into a suitable sharps container. A new sterile needle must be used for each client. Piercing methods involving direct contact with the client’s skin (such as trocar and cannula) are not recommended. Jewellery Jewellery used in body piercing must be made of materials that can be sterilised by autoclaving before insertion, for example surgical steel and gold. Jewellery must also be suitable for the area pierced, for example gemstones and some gold or silver alloy bead rings are not suitable for genital piercing. Make sure you are shown the piercing jewellery in its sterilised package before use.



Handpieces, nozzles and needles

After every use:

The nozzle, needle bar, tubes and reusable needles must be cleaned and sterilised using a bench top autoclave;

Disposable needles must be disposed of into a sharps container;

The handpiece must be cleaned and disinfected using 70% alcohol.

All re-usable instruments must be washed thoroughly to remove all visible blood and other materials as soon as possible after use and before disinfection or sterilisation.

Instruments and needles must not be stored in disinfectant.

A new sterile needle must be used for each client.


Further information or to seek advice you can contact:

Youth Health Centre

The Youth Health Centre is a youth-friendly health service located at English River, for persons between 12 and 24 years old. Call 4388562 for an appointment or email Dr Adeline directly on Email:

© Seychelles National Youth Council

All rights reserved.


Online Source: health-index.htm

Source : Seychelles NATION

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