Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a global pandemic causing massive disruption to our lives as we know it. Coronavirus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. It is a highly contagious virus that is transmitted through close contact.
Globally, each country has enforced laws to try and control and contain the outbreak, from total self-isolation for everyone, all the way through to allowing citizens to take the measures they feel comfortable with. Either way, how we eat, shop, work and interact is all suddenly changing to some extent- it feels like something out of a zombie movie!
When it comes to tattoo parlours, some have been forced to close, some have voluntarily shut up shop for a few weeks and others are remaining open with strict hygiene measures in place.
Now, some of you wouldn’t even consider getting a tattoo during Covid-19, however I can also sympathize with those who have spent months planning your new tattoo and booked in your favourite tattoo artist months ago. Cancelling or moving your appointment can be disappointing to say the least. So, if you desperately want to keep your appointment, you need to consider if it is safe to get a tattoo during Covid-19?
Of the tattoo palours that are open, many are enforcing strict hygiene practices to maintain a safe and clean environment for themselves and their clients. To stay as safe as possible, here some simple and practical tips you should follow:
WASH YOUR HANDS
Wash your hands obsessively! or use hand-sanitiser. We don’t realise how many times we put our fingers in our mouths and touch our faces every day. Experts say we touch our faces 16-23 times an hour! The odds of passing bacteria into our body through our mouth and eyes is extremely high. Keeping your hands as clean as humanly possible will limit the number of bacteria entering body and also passing it onto another individual. Furthermore, tattoos cause broken skin that sometimes causes itching during the healing period, having clean hands and nails will limited the number of bacteria entering the body though itching.
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR CELL PHONE
Do not touch your cell phone prior to or during your session. Cell phones carry a world of bacteria that is not helpful when you are getting a tattoo. On a side note, clean your cell phone more often than usual too with cell phone safe disinfectant wipes.
WEAR A FACE MASK
Tattoos require close proximity between the client and the artist, wearing a face mask ensures that you are not breathing all over the artist or inhaling any toxins in the air. Some people claim face-masks do not make a difference, however the jury is still out so I’d play it safe and do it just in case. If you decide not to wear a mask, cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when sneezing to coughing.
LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS AT HOME
Many people like to take someone along to their tattoo session. To limit the number of people in the shop and in close proximity to the artists, please go in solo. This measure restricts any unnecessary contact that might cause the virus to spread.
DON’T BE A WALK-IN
If you haven’t booked in your appointment previously and are not desperate to get a tattoo, look after the community and try not to be a walk-in. Again, this creates more unnecessary human contact and increases danger of spreading the disease.
TRAVELLERS STAY AWAY
If you have recently travelled to high risk covid-19 areas, please cancel or reschedule your appointment to a later time when you are 100% sure there is no chance of you carrying the virus. Speak to your tattoo parlour about how long they would like you to wait before your session.
REST UP IF YOU ARE SICK
If you feel unwell with flu like symptoms please reschedule your appointment. Your body needs your immune system to recover from feeling unwell before it gets loaded with healing a tattoo. Further to this, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or a weakened immune system, best not to get a tattoo during this time and speak to your doctor for advice on when it is safe for you to get inked.
PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITY
If you have been around someone who has been sick, please reschedule your appointment to a later time, preferably 2 weeks out as a minimum so you can ensure you are 100% healthy and not as risk of spreading any viruses.
So, is it safe to get a tattoo? We all have different circumstances so at the end of the day, it is up to you to consider all the risks and make that decision for yourself. If you are still unsure, please speak to your doctor or medical professional.
To protect the tattoo community, we ask you to look out for each other. Please take all the necessary measures to ensure you are safeguarding yourself and tattoo artists during Covid-19.