Tattooing or body piercing in professional parlours is not associated with an increased risk of infection with hepatitis C virus, a literature review published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows. However, the authors did find evidence that tattooing in non-sterile environments, such as prisons, was associated with the infection. They also found isolated case reports of possible hepatitis C infections due to the use of inadequately sterilised equipment in professional settings.
“The findings emphasize the need to prevent hepatitis C transmission from use of unsterile tattooing and piercing equipment, especially in prisons,” write the authors. “Awareness campaigns should highlight the dangers of such procedures in unregulated and potentially unsterile environments, such as homes and prisons.”