Interview with Professor Jacques Bazex, member of the National Academy of Medicine. He worked on a report that led to the implementation of the new regulations for tattoo artists and piercers.
What are the main steps to take by tattoo-piercers?
The main hygiene measures are the use of disposable gloves, single-use or sterilized equipment in an isolated room.
These professions have every interest in medicalization, and tattoo-piercers should receive training in hygiene and first aid. Ideally, they should have the same training as people taking blood samples in medical laboratories.
What are the main risks of tattoos and piercings?
One should not stigmatize around some examples but rather keep in mind that even if the complications are rare, they are serious enough to take all necessary precautions. Persistent chronic infection presents an increased risk. The risk of sensitization to metals or dyes is also important. In France, there is a lack of data on tattooed and pierced persons, cases of infections and the conditions under which these operations are carried out. It's time to frame them because tattooing and piercing are becoming commonplace.
Are you satisfied with the decree put in place?
The role of the Academy of Medicine is, first and foremost, to inform people and governments about possible risks. An essential question was not asked: how to qualify the gesture of the tattooist or piercer. Is this a paramedical act? Surgical? This qualification would help to determine the act and then the notion of responsibility. For example, the surgeon is responsible when the patient suffers from an infection after an operation. In addition, some of our recommendations were not satisfied: the client had to have a reflection period of 15 days after the first meeting and have a medical visit to avoid traumatic, allergic and infectious risks. We should have also emphasized the dental problems caused by oral piercings. Finally, genital piercings pose a very high risk of complication and should be banned.
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