Does The Tattoo Industry Need a Hygienic Update?
As a regular at the tattoo studio, and a digital marketer for a keyboard company, I thought it was time for me to combine the two and consider the need for hygienic keyboards in the industry.
Tattoos date back thousands of years across different cultures all over the world, although they were not very common until the mid-20th century, they have been on the rise since.
Over the last 22 years, there has been a surge in the tattoo industry, with tattoo artists becoming less of a niche profession and more mainstream. Tattoo Freeze, The London Great British Tattoo Show and other such events have played a huge part in raising the profile of artists and celebrating their achievements.
As the trade becomes more mainstream and new studios open at an accelerated rate, it is vital to ensure all artists adhere to health and safety standards to protect themselves and their customers.
The Current Status of Care in The Tattoo Studio
You’ll find all sorts of information on the web explaining what to check for when visiting a tattoo studio. For example, glove-wearing and appropriate sanitary precautions to ensure bloodborne diseases are as low a risk as possible.
Mayo Clinic talks about these risks in one of their articles “If the equipment used to create your tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can contract various bloodborne diseases — including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis B and hepatitis C.”
Many studios will appropriately cover their seating areas and tables in a wrap to ensure cleanliness and low risk of infections, another part of the studio equipment is computer peripherals. The importance of using a medically graded keyboard and mouse in a studio cannot be underestimated.
The keyboard and mouse have a huge part to play when it comes to the tattoo process. They are used for printing designs, recording customer information and much more.
These keyboards are used repeatedly by numerous people who may have come into contact with blood and fluids. Even with gloves and many safety precautions being already taken, there can still be risks. From my personal experience, I have seen keyboards are often covered in a covering film, which is better than nothing but, to be honest, they are not the most hygienic solution!
How can we help?
Our range of medical keyboards and mice are fully sealed and can be easily wiped, thus reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
I believe medical keyboards are a lot more practical than the ulterior methods, but to be unbiased, I decided to talk to some people within the industry for their take on whether silicone keyboards could be advantageous in the field.
Evan, a tattoo artist from the West Midlands said: “I think that if there is something that can make a studio even cleaner, we should go for it. Even if it’s not something that often happens, (cross-contamination) we can never be too safe when it comes to dealing with a client’s well-being.”
Experienced tattoo artists are known for putting their client’s health at the forefront and ensuring the process runs smoothly, so it’s no surprise this is the kind of response we received, however both experienced and new artists must review their setup and think about extra steps they could take to ensure the hygienic care of their customers.
Karger published an article in March 2015 with a “shop flow” diagram. This had a colour display of areas used by both client, and tattooist, meaning these places are susceptible to a high risk of cross-contamination, such areas include the actual Tattoo stations themselves, the toilets, and also the reception area, most commonly the area with the most traffic, and also the area containing the keyboard.
By investing in medical keyboards, I am confident we could make it easier to maintain a safe environment for artists and clients alike.