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One in five procedures like tattoos and piercings end up infected, poll reveals

Caroline Allen
Contributor
New poll reveals that one in five people who get procedures like piercings and tattoos end up with bad side effects. [Photo: Getty]

A new poll has revealed that almost one in five people in the UK who have had a tattoopiercing, acupuncture or electrolysis over the past five years have had negative side effects.

With one in five people in the UK now having at least one tattoo, the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH), who conducted the poll, is calling for stricter rules around them.

The poll looked into the health risks involved in having a procedure which breaks the skin’s barrier.

Currently there are no legal requirements for businesses to have infection control qualifications in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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One in ten of the 2,000 people polled also needed medical attention after their procedure.

With more and more people getting procedures that break the skin, Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of RSPH, would like to see the rest of the UK copying Wales.

Wales has introduced a mandatory infection control scheme to limit this type of problem occurring.

This problem is becoming even more pertinent with a 173 per cent rise in tattoo parlours in the UK between 2004-2014.

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The survey also revealed that two fifths of people did not query whether the person carrying out their procedure was licensed to do so.

Currently, anybody can purchase the equipment needed to carry out procedures online. They can do so without any training in how to use them.

There’s also no legislation to say who can provide customers other invasive treatments like dermal fillers.

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The RSPH has responded to the poll’s findings, suggesting that more legal requirements need to be put in place to protect people having these procedures done.

It is demanding age limits on cosmetic fillers, which will make them illegal for people under 18.

“With the surge in demand for tattoos, piercings and a growing variety of cosmetic procedures, such as fillers, we hope this report sparks a wider discussion about the need to provide safeguards and reassure those who seek to undertake body modification in all forms in the UK today.” Cramer said.

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