It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, even with parental consent. Tattooists are required to register with and be inspected by B&NES Council; it is essential that hygiene standards are met to prevent infection and Registered tattooists should always display their registration certificate.

Tattoos pierce the skin repeatedly with one or more needles and insert droplets of ink into the skin. The risks of being tattooed by an illegal tattooist include un-sterilised equipment and poor hygiene standards which could lead to complications including:

  • Blood-borne disease such as Tetanus, Hepatitis B & C and HIV

  • Skin infections

  • Allergic reactions to skin dyes

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Public Protection & Public Health Officers have offered the following advice:

The Council’s Public Protection team can investigate reports of un-registered tattooists. If you want to report a person tattooing from an unregistered premise or are concerned about the hygiene standards of a tattooist please contact the Council’s Public Protection Team on: 01225 396759 or email:

  • If you know someone who has been tattooed under the age of 18 please contact the police on the non-emergency number 101 and the Council’s Public Protection team  01225 396759 or email:

  • If you are concerned that a tattoo has become infected, if you have an allergic reaction to a tattoo or if you are concerned about blood borne viruses after having a tattoo please contact either your GP by phone, contact the NHS non-emergency number 111 or speak to your school nurse

Truth About Illegal Tattooing poster

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