Tattoos and piercings: making a safe choice

We recommend not getting tattooed or pierced if an artist will not or is unable to answer all of your questions.

Procedures must be done by professional artists who are careful to protect their customers and themselves from infections. Improperly administered tattoos and piercings can be a source of life-threatening illnesses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and a host of other bacterial and viral infections.

If your tattoo or piercing becomes sore, red, swollen or oozes pus, you might have an infection.

Check Before You Go! Make a safe choice when you’re getting a piercing or a tattoo.

Know the risks when it comes to:



Being vaccinated against hepatitis B is strongly recommended before getting a tattoo or a piercing. Never tattoo or pierce your own body. Don’t let a friend do it. It is not worth the risk!

Look around . . . ask questions:

The answer to the questions below should always be “yes”.

A reputable body artist should answer all of your questions—just ask them!

Is body piercing and tattooing safe?

Tattooing and body piercing can be safe when it is done by a professional artist who is careful to protect customers and themselves from infections.

Touching the new tattoo or piercing area without washing your hands can also cause other infections. Tattooing or piercing can increase the risk of getting blood diseases such as HIV/AIDShepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Choose the location of your tattoo or piercing carefully.

Other considerations:

 Choosing a body artist

Tattoos or piercing can take up to 6 weeks to heal, following proper aftercare instructions is very important.

Body art salons and parlours should ensure that proper infection control practices are followed at all times to reduce the risk of blood-borne infections. These establishments are inspected regularly by public health inspectors to ensure the safety of the public.

Check Before You Go! Inspection and enforcement information

For inspection and enforcement information, visit Check Before You Go! or contact 705.522.9200 ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Check Before You Go! has information about required and follow-up inspections, infractions, convictions, as well as orders imposed by Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

You can find information related to:

This item was last modified on July 15, 2021