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Warning over unregistered tattooists

With summer well under way more and more people are thinking of getting a tattoo, piercing or having electrolysis.

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Committing to any skin piercing is an investment and a considered purchase, at the very minimum you must make sure you visit a Skin Piercer who is registered with your local Council or the consequences could be severe.

South Holland District Council is keen to make residents aware that there may be unregistered Skin Piercers operating within the district, either from domestic premises or offering to pierce in your own home.

All registered Skin Piercers must display a certificate of registration where they practice - if they can't then it is likely they are unregistered. 

Council Environmental Health Inspectors routinely visit registered premises and monitor compliance against the district byelaws. 

The byelaws cover a range of standards including the cleanliness of the premise, equipment and the hygiene of the operator.

Anyone who carries out acupuncture, electrolysis, cosmetic piercing and semi-permanent skin colouring must be registered with the local authority.

Semi-Permanent Skin colouring or Micro blading is becoming more and more fashionable by having your eye brows/lips/eye liner temporarily tattooed on.

Cllr Anthony Casson, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said: "One of the main reasons for registration is the protection of public health, particularly against the spread of infection.

"We believe that there may be unregistered Skin Piercers operating in the district and we are keen to make people aware of this. We would encourage anyone who suspects that a Skin Piercer is operating illegally to report this to us.

"If you are considering any of these treatments please ensure you only use a registered operator."

By using an unregistered Skin Piercer you run the risk of becoming infected with either of the following:


  • The bacteria Staphylococcus or Pseudomonas which may give rise to localised inflammation and pain or can result in more chronic problems with pus, odours and scar tissues.
  • Hepatitis B: This can occur by contamination with infected blood or tissue fluids. Poor practice in tattooing and acupuncture has been known to cause outbreaks, particularly where fresh needles are not used or equipment is poorly sterilised.
  • Hepatitis C: This is acquired through intravenous drug use and the sharing of needles.
  • HIV: This is transmitted in the same way as Hepatitis B.


A list of registered Skin Piercers can be viewed at

If the person you are intending to visit is not on the list ask them to produce their certificate of registration. If they can't, do not use them and report it to us.

If you become aware of a tattooist in South Holland operating without the relevant registration or offering to tattoo under 18's contact your local police or South Holland District Council on 01775 761161 or via email on

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