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Home Resident Health and Safety Skin Piercing & Tattooing

Skin Piercing & Tattooing

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Think before you ink!
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To offer the following treatments in Conwy both the person and premises must be registered with the Public Protection Team:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing including ear piercing
  • electrolysis
  • semi permanent skin colouring

How old must I be?

You must be 18 years old or older to have a tattoo.  There are no exceptions to this and the police and council will prosecute anyone who breaks this law.  Just like buying alcohol, the responsibility is on the tattooist to ensure they have made reasonable checks to ensure the person is over 18 such as recording evidence of photo ID.

For other treatments it is strongly recommended that you are at least 16 years old.

Think before you ink!

Tattooists and skin piercers must be registered with Conwy County Borough Council and display the official certificate of registration at the premises.

The person offering the tattoo or skin piercing and the premises will have been inspected and assessed by Officers to ensure they meet acceptable standards.

If you are thinking about having a tattoo or piercing or you should use only registered businesses who will display the appropriate certificate. Never have a tattoo or piercing by someone who is operating from home and not registered. 

‘Scratchers’ is term commonly used for referring to illegal tattooists.  Scratchers are deemed to be operating illegally and are a risk to the public because they may be:

  • working from a premises which is not registered or inspected by the Council.  They are often found in bathrooms, kitchen, sheds and other unsuitable environments.
  • unregistered and have little or no knowledge about how to tattoo someone safely. 'Scratchers' will tell you they know what they are doing but from our experiences they are often undertaking unsafe and unhygienic tattooing.
  • using cheap equipment which has been purchased from auction websites rather than a suitable trade supplier

You may be tempted away from registered tattooists by cheap prices offered by the scratchers. However, it is simply not worth the risk – it could have life changing consequences. The practice of tattooing poses a risk of viral infections such as Hepatitis and HIV and bacteriological infections. 

The person offering to carry out the tattooing and the premises will not have been assessed by Conwy Council to ensure they meet acceptable standards. The scratcher may not have undertaken proper training and is also less likely to check the medical history or age of their customer. As a result, if you are looking for a bargain deal you are exposing yourself to much higher risks of infections and permanent scarring than normal.

Registered tattoo studios

If you are thinking about having a tattoo, you should use only registered tattoo studios. All the businesses listed have been registered with Conwy County Borough Council and will display the official certificate of registration at the premises.

Illegal Tattooing/Scratchers

If you know of anyone tattooing illegally let us know and we will investigate. We take illegal tattooing very seriously. Where necessary we will stop illegal tattooing, sometimes with the assistance of police, monitor the situation and prosecute illegal tattooists.

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