Promoting the health and safety of the artist and clients of our tattoo and piercing community.

DeKalb County, Georgia has a large, diverse and talented community of body craft artists and studios. They offer tattoos, cosmetic tattoos (permanent cosmetics) and body piercing to members of the public from the surrounding areas and nationwide on an ongoing basis. One of every four persons from ages 18-25 in the United States has a tattoo or body piercing. Body crafting has truly become a mainstream form of art.

There are several health issues associated with body crafting. The purpose of this program and the rules and regulations is to create a safe body crafting environment, to ensure safe industry practices, and to prevent the transmission of disease in body craft studios. The rules are designed to protect the clients of these procedures as well as the artist.

The risks associated with body crafting include infection, hepatitis B and C, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), any blood-borne pathogen, improperly sized jewelry, substandard jewelry, allergic reactions, and possible scarring due to an underlying keloid condition.

Through regulation, education and enforcement, the body crafting program seeks to make certain that the body craft studios are designed to allow for effective cleaning and disinfection. Also, it verifies that cleaning and disinfection procedures are documented and that all tools and jewelry used in a procedure are cleaned, sterilized, and disinfected prior to use on clients. Every area that comes into contact with the client shall also be cleaned and disinfected before and after each procedure.

Any body craft artist must be properly permitted and have first aid, CPR, and blood-borne pathogen training. They must follow proper procedures to prevent the spread of infection and disease. Unauthorized or substandard tools or jewelry are not allowed.

The body crafting program DOES NOT regulate, judge, or determine the aesthetic quality of the procedures performed by the body craft artists.

If you are going to undergo a body crafting procedure in DeKalb County, please ask to see the Body Craft Studio Permit, the permit of the Body Craft Artist that will be doing your work, and the last routine inspection that the studio has received. All of these items should be posted or should be provided upon request. If you have any questions about the permit status of a studio or an artist please call the DeKalb County Division of Environmental Health 404-508-7900.

Information about the Permit Process

In DeKalb County, body crafting includes tattooing, body piercing, and cosmetic tattooing.

The permit process for body craft studios and artists includes the following:

  • Body craft studios are required to complete a permit application, pass an inspection, and pay a $400 annual permit fee.  Newly constructed businesses may be assessed a plan review fee in the amount of $175.
  • Body craft artists are required to complete a permit application, document certification in CPR, basic first aid, and blood-borne pathogen or infection control; and pay a $100 annual permit fee.  Artists are required to keep all certifications current during the entire year.

Permits and the most recent inspections must be posted and visible to the public. Routine inspections will take place at least twice a year or as needed.

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