Infection Control: Tips To Keep Yourself and Your Clients Safe and Infection- Free
If you’ve worked in cosmetic tattooing for any length of time, you should be familiar with the words “infection control”.
Most courses and qualifications will require a module to be completed in this subject, and for a good reason.
Since the most significant risk facing your clients is infection, it should be at the forefront of your mind as each client walks through your door.
It’s hard to know precisely how often cosmetic tattoos become infected, but it’s thought to be between 1 and 3%.
Infections are often avoidable as long as both you and your client are following the appropriate guidelines.
Even if you’re new to tattooing, you should already be aware of the risks surrounding cosmetic tattoos, infections, and infection control.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the critical areas that can reduce infection risk.
We’ll also discuss what you should disclose to your clients, as well as their responsibilities too.
Infection Control Starts With Your Tools
Let’s start with the obvious.
While each state’s guidelines may vary slightly, they agree that tattooists should never reuse needles under any circumstance.
It seems obvious to most, but you'd be surprised by how often people try to cut costs by reusing unsterilised tools!
Using unsterilised tools on more than one client puts them at risk of infection and other, more serious diseases too, like HIV and Hepatitis.
You have a duty of care to your clients to ensure they receive their service with the utmost care taken.
When it comes to it, you’re (usually) tattooing someone’s face.
The trust involved when you tattoo someone’s face is phenomenal.
You owe it to every customer to ensure they not only have the best service, experience, and results but that you have taken every possible step to minimise the risk of infection.
Make sure to always:
- Use new needles and other disposable equipment
- Thoroughly sterilise non-disposable equipment
- Always dispose of used equipment in a safe way
Another Aspect of Infection Control to Consider is Your Pigments
Low-quality pigments can cause infection or allergic reactions.
Reputable products like Perma Blend or LI Pigments are well-known and safe, but always ensure you’re buying from approved stockists.
Brow Daddy pigments
Buying from a reputable supplier ensures you’re not tattooing with potentially toxic ingredients.
Always be aware that cutting corners with equipment or pigment is potentially putting your clients are risk of infection.
Infection Control in Your Environment
Depending on where you live in Australia, the rules and regulations surrounding infection control can vary from state to state.
NSW requires your surfaces and flooring to be made of easy to clean and non-slip materials to help minimise the risk of infection.
Keep the floors clear at all times. This will make it easier to disinfect and reduce the risks of pathogens making their way to the client’s open wounds.
A clean, sterile studio helps with infection control
You might even want to consider a clinical style layout to make it easier to clean in the initial setup.
A clean and sterile studio helps with infection control.
You should continuously be disinfecting your station or studio between clients anyway, but don’t ever skip out on a deep clean.
Ensure you’re cleaning with hospital-grade products to keep your studio clean and sanitised.
Reducing Your Own Risk Of Infection
Infection control isn’t just about washing your hands.
2020 has changed the way things are done in almost every single industry.
Office workers worked from home, and personal trainers started doing Zoom sessions.
Cosmetic tattooists had to figure out how to be safe while leaning over clients’ faces all day.
Thankfully, suppliers stepped up and offered masks and visors, ensuring their clients could comply with public health orders.
Remember, not only are you protecting your clients and their health. You’re also protecting yourself, your business, and your reputation.
Disposable Leopard Print Mask
Educate Your Clients About Post-Tattoo Infection
Knowledge is power.
It sounds like a cliche, but it’s a true one, especially when it comes to infection control.
The more you- and your clients- know, the more equipped you are to take steps to prevent infection once the customer leaves your studio.
You cannot rely on your client to do their own research.
They might be too excited to properly understand the risks associated with the service they’re receiving.
While you’re aware that there is a small risk of contracting any blood-borne diseases, your clients may not know. Many aren’t aware the simple act of piercing the skin creates a risk, however small.
Be sure to reassure them that you’ve done everything possible to mitigate the risk.
Consider displaying your certifications in infection control, opening new needles, etc., in front of them, or even showing them how you sterilise your equipment.
As NSW Health requires, you need to be trained in its operation if you have a bench-top steriliser.
While these guidelines are a good start, always consult your state’s health resources to ensure your compliance.
Since they can vary from state to state, never rely on someone else to keep you or your business compliant.