UT University Health Services

Body Art Safety - Tattoos

Many college students have tattoos and, with the right precautions, tattooing and other body art practices can be totally safe.

If you have a design of your own or want an artist to create a custom design for you, make an appointment with an artist to talk about what you want. If you want a custom design, a good tattoo artist will help you refine it and will create a mock-up that you can approve or change before going forward with the actual tattoo.

Most tattoo artists and studios have a portfolio of designs that they can create if you don't have a custom design in mind.


  • Ask friends and acquaintances for tattoo artist recommendations
  • Check out a tattoo studio before committing to getting tattooed or spending money
  • Ask to see their autoclave and for an explanation of their safety procedures
  • Meet the artist and make sure you feel safe with them
  • Ask for written aftercare guidelines
  • Purchase aftercare products (saline solution, anti-microbial soap, etc.) in advance

When visiting a studio, ask about their safety procedures. You should not get a tattoo at a studio that does not use:

  • New, medical grade, sterile gloves for every customer
  • An autoclave to sterilize instruments
  • New needles and pigment tubes for every customer

Studios should have a clean appearance - if the floors are dirty or the work areas look cluttered, the studio might not do a good job of taking care of its sterile equipment, either. Studio employees should be more than willing to show you their autoclave and explain their safety procedures if you ask.

Healthy Sexuality

Healthy Sexuality Topics
Classes and Workshops
Request Free/Low-Cost Condoms
Men's Sexual Health
Off-Campus STI / HIV testing locations
Sexually Transmitted Infections
UHS Sexual Assault Forensic Exams
AlcoholEdu and SAPU
Gynecology Clinic


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