Tattoos have become increasingly fashionable in recent years, a trend driven by sports icons and muscians. But when a tattooist is unregistered there is no guarantees that the equipment used is either safe or clean. Potentiall these tattooist could being putting their customers at risk of serious infections such as Hep B and C, septicaemia and HIV. The hygiene standards at unregistered premises does not always match those followed by studios that are legally registered with and monitored by the council. Unregistered tattooists are known within the industry as ‘scratchers’ who are working from home using cheap tattooing kits and ink. They will often advertise through web-based auction sites, making them difficult for Environmental Health to pin down. Worryingly is reports that unregistered tattooist are more likely to tattoo people under the age of 18 which is illegal. Think before you Ink!