Avoid tattoo parties, Central Florida health officials say

Department of Health says unlicensed tattoo parties are illegal, dangerous

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor
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CENTRAL FLORIDA - Central Florida health departments are urging residents to not participate in local tattoo parties where unlicensed tattooing is common.

"Tattoo parties are events where someone hires an unlicensed person or business to provide tattoos for their guests," said Dr. Kevin Sherin, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  "They often occur inside homes or hotel rooms using inexperienced artists and they are very popular with minors looking for an inexpensive tattoo without their parent's consent."

These types of unlicensed events are illegal in Florida. Health officials said re-using needles and sharing ink between customers is common at unlicensed operations.

Health officials say unlicensed tattoo activity could result in the following complications:

  • Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site.
  • Skin infections. Life-threatening skin infection, including MRSA, is a possibility.
  • Other skin problems. Sometimes bumps form around tattoo ink. Tattooing can also lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
  • Bloodborne and other diseases.  Tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV can be transmitted by contaminated blood on unsterilized equipment.

For more information, visit Florida Health website.

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