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How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?


It Could Be More Than You Think

Always use a Licensed Tattooist.

If you wish to check whether a tattooist is correctly licensed with the Local Authority, please contact the Licensing department on 0161 342 4262 or by email at licensing@tameside.gov.uk

Image of a Woman's Back with Tattoos onIf you're thinking about getting a tattoo, there is one very important thing that you should keep in mind... getting it done safely!

  • You must be aged 18 or over to get a tattoo. It is an offence to tattoo anyone under 18, so don't be offended if the tattooist asks you to show proof of age.

  • When deciding which tattooist to go to, check the shop carefully.

  • Visit several tattoo studios first and make sure the shop is neat and clean. Professional studios usually take pride in their cleanliness.

  • Ask questions about the shop's safety procedures. The staff should be willing and able to answer you questions. If you feel they are brushing your concerns aside or can't answer you, leave and seek out a professional shop.

  • Trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to walk away; just be polite. If, for whatever reason, you're unsure, then find somewhere else where you feel more comfortable.

  • Always make sure that your tattooist is using new needles and latex gloves. The tattooist should wear gloves at all times during the process of tattooing.

  • Make sure the tattoo studio has an autoclave. This is a surgical steriliser that uses ‘superheated' steam to kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses that might contaminate tattoo needles.

  • Ask the tattooist to show you the autoclave. Ask to see the autoclave and sterilisation certificate. You should be allowed to watch as equipment is sterilised.

  • If a tattoo studio doesn't follow precautions like using sterilised equipment or if it shares ink between customers, you're putting yourself at risk for getting viral infections such as hepatitis, bacterial skin infections, or dermatitis (severe skin irritation).

  • Serious complications can also result if you attempt to do a tattoo yourself, have a friend do it for you, or have it done in any unclean environment.

  • Because tattooing involves injections under the skin, viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B and C can be transferred into your body if proper precautions aren't followed.

  • It is important to note that using an autoclave is just about the only way to kill hepatitis strains B, C, and D in tattoo needles. Simply spraying disinfectant on needles or soaking the needles in alcohol will not kill all of the bacteria and viruses, which are likely to contaminate tattooing equipment.

  • Some people like to ask if the tattooist is vaccinated for Hepatitis B. You might not feel too comfortable asking someone you've only just met a question like that but it is worthwhile knowing.

This is what you can expect from a normal tattooing procedure:

  • The tattoo artist should first wash his or her hands with an antibacterial soap.

  • The area on your body where the tattoo will be should be cleaned and disinfected.

  • The tattoo artist must put on clean, fresh gloves.

  • The tattoo artist should open up the single-use, sterilised equipment

  • Using the tattoo machine (with a sterile, single-use needle attached), the tattoo artist will begin drawing an outline of the tattoo under your skin.

  • The outline should be cleaned with antiseptic soap and water.

  • Sterile, thicker needles should be installed on the tattoo machine, and the tattoo artist will start shading the design. After cleaning the area again, colour will be injected.

  • Any blood should be removed by a sterile, disposable cloth or towel.

  • When finished, the area, now sporting a finished tattoo, should be cleaned again and a bandage or sterile covering will be applied to protect from infection.

  • Aftercare advice should be given to you.

  • The importance of safe tattooing practices cannot be stressed enough.

  • Make sure you use a registered tattooist. Unregistered tattooists could be dangerous. If a person is tattooing in their kitchen and not in a tattoo studio, then perhaps there is a reason for that.

  • A registration certificate from the council's Environmental Health Team should be displayed in the studio. If it isn't, it means the owners may not keep their equipment sterile, clean their needles properly to stop infections, or dispose of their waste appropriately.

  • If you are unsure who is registered with the council, contact Environmental Health, who keeps a record of all registered premises

  • If you decide to get a tattoo, make sure your tattoo experience is one that you will not regret later. Always remember to put safety first.

For more information about tattoos or skin piercing within Tameside contact :

Contact Information
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Contact by Post

Engineering and Environmental Health
Tameside MBC
Council Offices
Wellington Road
Ashton under Lyne
OL6 6DL
Contact by Telephone
Office Hours
0161 342 8355
Out of Office
0161 342 2222
Contact by Fax
0161 342 2275
Page last updated: 6 September 2013