What does having a tattoo involve?
Ink is inserted into the second layer of the skin using a small needle. An electric tattoo machine drives needles into the skin up to 150 times per second.
Is it painful?
It can be - no anaesthetic is used. Generally most people can cope with the pain, a registered experienced tattooist will know how deep to insert the needle.
However, inexperienced tattooists can push the needle in too deep causing instense pain and bleeding.
Are there any risks?
Yes - if the tattoo site becomes very red, swollen/itchy or painful you may have an allergic reaction or an infection. Infections can make you feel extremely unwell and cause blood poisoning and in severe cases death.
If after having a tattoo you have a high temperature, feel unwell or are worried about the tattoo site contact your GP immediately.
Tattooing also carries the risk of viruses like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV which can cause serious, life treatening illness. These can be transferred into your body if the equipment used is contaminated with someone else's blood.
What if I change my mind?
Tattoos are permanent. Removal is possible but very expensive, and it can be very painful, take a long time and leave scarring.
If you decided to have a tattoo remember TATTOOS ARE FOR LIFE. Think very carefully about the design and where you want it. There may be a time when you want to hide it.
How do I pick a tattooist?
Always use a registered tatooist as they have been approved by the council for meeting safety and hygiene standards and are subject to routine inspections.
Registered tattooists will:
- Wear gloves
- Use fresh needles and ink for every customer
- Have autoclave machines to sterilise all other equipment
- Give clear advice on how to care for your tattoo
Remember - any doubts - walk away
Registered tattoists will only tattoo customers over 18.
In the UK it is a criminal offence to tattoo anyone under 18 even with parental consent.
Illegal tatooing - the risks
Tattoos are becoming more and more popular but unfortuntalely so is illegal tattooing.
Illegal tattooing includes any tattooing that is carried out by someone who isn't a registered tattooist and any tattooing of young people under 18.
Illegal tattoos are often poor quality, painful and have far greater risks of infection and other health problems.
Play safe - always use a registered tattoo artist
If you have any concerns about a tattooist please contact the Public Protection Team on 01495 235278 or email email@example.com.
Registered tattoo studios
The following list of tattoo studios located in the Caerphilly county borough are registered under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. All premises where tattooing is undertaken must be registered with Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Registered tattoo studios (PDF 13kb)