New safety guidelines for tattoo parlours
The growth in the numbers of people getting tattoos has led to the first set of safety guidelines for salons and parlours.
Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who is introducing the measures, said tattooing and body piercing have become increasingly popular as a "fashion statement", however there are currently no specific guidelines on hygiene and infection control for the sector.
"High standards of hygiene are vital when performing body piercing and tattooing in order to protect the health of clients, and the practitioners," he added.
The guidelines will be published on the Department of Health website next week for public consultation before they are finalised.
Among the proposed guidelines are good practice for infection control and preventing contamination and the use of template consent forms and aftercare advice leaflets for customers.
Mr Varadkar said that, while the vast majority of tattoos and piercings occur without incident, there are certain risks involved with the procedures.
"Hygiene is also crucial because improper or unhygienic practices can cause localised infections or in some cases transmission of more severe blood-borne viruses.
"Other problems can include acute infections, allergic reactions to ink or pigments, skin complications including scarring, rejection of jewellery by the body."