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Principles of Infection Control for the Tattoo Industry

In the beginning of 2017, I was commissioned to author a book covering the topic of infection control for the tattoo industry. Over the next several months, I researched and worked on this book and it was definitely an arduous task to complete this. The book was published in the fall of 2017 and as a result, I have been asked to present over this topic at educational events and industry conventions. I have also been asked to write articles for international platforms and online magazines. Please enjoy my latest article.

Safety and Sanitation in the Cosmetic Tattoo Industry.

Shanan Zickefoose, BSN, RN, CPCP

In the last decade, the cosmetic tattoo industry has birthed a new generation of short-term training programs, and as a result, safety and sanitation is often overlooked by trainers due to the time restraints in this style of training. Both trainers and new technicians must understand the of risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, and it is vital for the cosmetic tattoo industry and body art professionals to execute protocols to protect both the artists and the clientele. Protocols should include best practice for: aseptic technique, hand hygiene, personal protection equipment, decontamination methods, and recognizing signs and symptoms of infection. Our goal in this article is to provide fundamental information to assist the industry in best infection control practices.

Rationale of Standard Precautions

In 1985, as a result of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, blood and body fluid protection precautions were implemented on all clients which were commonly known as Universal Precautions. Revisions were made over the years and in 1994, a two-tier system of precautions was implemented by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The two-tier system is based on Standard Precautions and Transmission Precautions.

The CDC recommends Standard Precautions protocols is recognized as the safest way to provide infection controls when Other Potential Infectious Material (OPIM) and can cause exposure. OPIM is defined as both visible and nonvisible blood, or matter from mucous membranes and non-intact skin.

Best Practice for Safety and Sanitation