Havering tattooist: people ‘risking their lives’ with DIY kits

Havering residents are putting their lives at risk by using do-it-yourself tattoo kits from the internet, according to a Harold Hill tattoo artist.

Colin Wilson, owner of Tuggs Tatts Tattoo Studio, in Whitchurch Road, claims that since the shop opened six weeks ago, he has had five to six people coming through his doors every week due to problems caused by home kits.

Colin said: “People always think they are cheaper, but they don’t realise that they are putting their lives at risk at the same time.”

Home tattoo kits can be brought over the internet for as little as �30.

There are no regulations so people as young as 18 can buy the kit online.

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Colin argues that they pose a danger to people’s health because of the risk of Hepatitis C and other other illnesses.

He says that he has had people coming into the store asking him to cover up the scars left from home kits.

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Colin said: “Surprisingly we have lots of people coming in about it and it is often a big source of embarrasment.

“We had one woman who came in who always used to wear a thick jumper and cover her arm and then she finally got enough courage to show us this terrible scar that had been left from one of the kits, luckily I was able to clean it up and make it look better but sometimes it is so bad that there is nothing that we can do.”

Last year there was a call from health experts about the risks of DIY kits in an attempt to get more regulations online.

Colin said: “There definitley needs to be some public warning about the dangers especially in the run up to summer because more people have tattoos done when the weather is warmer.”

Three artists based at the studio are also taking part in a tattoo convention for Help For Heroes on Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19 in North Yorkshire.

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