How do I get certified/permitted to do tattooing or body art?
Please call your local County Environmental Health Office to find out details regarding permitting requirements and inspections.
What is the status of the statewide Body Art Rules and Regulations being developed by the Department of Public Health?
The Department solicited written and verbal input from the Body Art industry and other interested parties through a public comment period and a public hearing held virtually on January 19, 2022. Based on these actions, the Department has decided to proceed diligently with the proposed rulemaking and continue the process as follows:
- The Body Art Program will work with appropriate stakeholders to further revise the proposed rules based on the substantive comments.
- Once revisions are complete, the Department will post a revised proposed rule to the website below with an appropriate notice of proposed rulemaking and provide a redlined version of the rules to delineate the changes.
- The Department will then hold a new public comment period and a hearing on the revised proposed rules before considering adoption in accordance with O.C.G.A 50-13-4.
The proposed rules, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 31-40, from the January 19, 2022, hearing will remain posted to the Department’s website at https://dph.georgia.gov/regulationsrule-making.
Risks Involved in Tattooing
Note: this information is copied directly from FDA's website.
The following are the primary complications that can result from tattooing:
- Infection. Unsterile tattooing equipment and needles can transmit infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") and other bacteria. Tattoos received at facilities not regulated by your state or at facilities that use unsterile equipment (or re-use ink) may prevent you from being accepted as a blood or plasma donor for twelve months. Infections also have resulted from contaminated tattoo inks, even when the tattoo artist has followed hygienic procedures. These infections can require prolonged treatment with antibiotics. To learn more, see "Tattoo Inks Pose Health Risks."
- Removal problems. Despite advances in laser technology, removing a tattoo is a painstaking process, usually involving several treatments and considerable expense. Complete removal without scarring may be impossible.
- Allergic reactions. Although FDA has received reports of numerous adverse reactions associated with certain shades of ink in permanent makeup, marketed by a particular manufacturer, reports of allergic reactions to tattoo pigments have been rare. However, when they happen they may be particularly troublesome because the pigments can be hard to remove. Occasionally, people may develop an allergic reaction to tattoos they have had for years.
- Granulomas. These are nodules that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, such as particles of tattoo pigment.
- Keloid formation. If you are prone to developing keloids -- scars that grow beyond normal boundaries -- you are at risk of keloid formation from a tattoo. Keloids may form any time you injure or traumatize your skin. Micropigmentation: State of the Art, a book written by Charles Zwerling, M.D., Annette Walker, R.N., and Norman Goldstein, M.D., states that keloids occur more frequently as a consequence of tattoo removal.
- MRI complications. There have been reports of people with tattoos or permanent makeup who experienced swelling or burning in the affected areas when they underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This seems to occur only rarely and apparently without lasting effects. There have also been reports of tattoo pigments interfering with the quality of the MRI image. This seems to occur mainly when a person with permanent eyeliner undergoes MRI of the eyes. However, the risks of avoiding an MRI when your doctor has recommended one are likely to be much greater than the risks of complications from an interaction between the MRI and tattoo or permanent makeup. Instead of avoiding an MRI, individuals who have tattoos or permanent makeup should inform the radiologist or technician.
Governor Kemp signed into Law Senate Bill 214 which directs the Georgia Department of Public Health to adopt statewide Body Art regulations including the permitting of body artists. The Department is currently drafting rules and regulations and plans to phase them in over the next 12-18 months. The Department will be soliciting input from the Body Art industry through a public comment period. Until these new regulations are developed, all body artists should continue to comply with local health department rules and regulations. Please check back to this site for updates.