BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists

August 30, 2017

Please see the attached memo from the NC Division of Public Health regarding infections associated with tattoos by unpermitted tattoo artists. Per NC law, tattoo artists are to be permitted by local health department environmental health staff after demonstrating an understanding of aseptic techniques and a work space that meets hygiene standards.

Clinicians are encouraged to take the following actions when caring for an individual with a recent tatt

  • Inquire where the individual received the tattoo. Notify the local health department if the individual reports receiving a tattoo from an unpermitted tattoo artist or in a home setting.
    •    You can contact BCHHS Environmental Health staff at 250-5106.
    •    Of course, if you suspect or diagnose a reportable communicable disease transmitted by tattooing, contact BCHHS Communicable Disease staff by phone at 250-5109 or fax a communicable disease report to them at 250-6169.
  •  Assess the individual for skin and soft tissue infections, and consider bloodborne pathogen testing for patients who received tattoos from an unpermitted artist or in a home setting.
  • Ensure that Hepatitis B and tetanus vaccinations are up to date in individuals who are considering getting a tattoo.

If you have any questions about this or any other public health matter, please reach out to me or our Communicable Disease staff at 250-5109.

Read full health alert from BCCHS

Thank you for the care you provide our community,

Jennifer Mullendore, MD, MSPH
Medical Director
Buncombe County Health and Human Services
Office:  (828) 250-6308
Mobile:  (828) 989-6145