WHEELING –The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is encouraging residents to only use permitted tattoo establishments when getting tattoos, body art or piercings. Residents are also advised to avoid participating in local “tattoo parties” where unlicensed activity is common.
Tattoo parties are events where an unlicensed person, often referred to as a “scratcher,” or business provides tattoos for their guests. These events often occur inside homes or hotel rooms using inexperienced artists and they are very popular with minors looking for an inexpensive tattoo without their parent’s consent. These types of unlicensed events are illegal in Ohio County and West Virginia and often take place under unsanitary conditions.
Individuals risk exposure to infection and blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis by receiving tattoos from unapproved artists in unsanitary setting such as private homes or apartments, and using anything but sterile needles risks transmitting blood-borne diseases to the recipient of the tattoo.