Tattoo Safety and Sterilization Standards:
Ayiti Ink & Image strictly adheres to the following safety protocol to provide clients with the safest possible tattoo environment in Haiti:
Sterilization of Tools
All needles used by Ayiti Ink & Image are brand new, sterile, and packaged in a dated blister pack. Tips (the part of the tattoo machine that the needle sits in) are disposable or autoclaved for sterilization. We will not use needles or tips that come from a ruptured or otherwise open package. Used needles and tips are disposed of in a sealed biohazard “sharps” container. No needles are ever reused. Tattoo machines and clip cords are covered with a plastic barrier to prevent cross-contamination, and these barriers are discarded after each use. The surgical steel trays and non-porous table surfaces that hold the tools during the tattoo process are also covered by a disposable barrier during use, and are regularly disinfected after each tattoo. Floors and surfaces are regularly cleaned with hospital grade disinfectants. Nothing that has touched another person will ever touch you during your tattoo process. It is all new, every time.
Workflow for prevention of cross-contamination
The most common health risk with any tattoo procedure presents itself when blood or other contaminants are transferred between clients or between the artist and the client. This is primarily prevented by creating a workflow in which sterile ink, tools, and needles only flow from sterilized clean zones towards use in a separate area, and then to disposal in a final separate area or sterilization in another, with no reverse migration. After a tattoo is finished used ink caps, gloves, and needles are disposed of into closed containers and the place in which the tattoo was done is thoroughly disinfected with antimicrobial cleaning agents and surface barriers are discarded.
Artist & Client Preparations & Precautions
Ayiti Ink & Image artists keep up to date vaccinations for Hepatitis A, B, and tetanus, as well as vaccines for other common diseases such as small pox, measles, mumps, and rubella. The artist will wear gloves during preparation, the tattoo process, and during the bandaging of the finished tattoo. Gloves are changed regularly and used gloves never enter the sterilized preparation area. Ayiti Ink will not tattoo clients who knowingly carry communicable diseases, or whose medical conditions put them at risk of harm during the tattooing process. Clients are prepped with alcohol on the shaved tattooed area, and, in the case of the application of a stencil, are swabbed with Dettol, an antimicrobial solution that causes the carbon image of a stencil to stick to the skin. At the end of the process, the tattoo is treated with triple antibiotic ointment and bandaged, and the client is supplied with a new package of A&D ointment to take home for aftercare purposes.
For the protection of all parties (artist, client, and facility owners) a thorough consent waiver is signed before each tattoo, alerting clients to all possible risks, providing them with the opportunity to ask appropriate questions, and asserting their volition in choosing to undergo the process with full and solitary assumption of risk. The client MUST hold harmless Ayiti Ink & Image and the owners of the studio facility because only 50% of the risk of tattoo is based on what goes on in the shop. The other half of the risk, both of infection and of a sub-par tattoo image, is in the hands of the client in performing their own aftercare at home for three to four weeks following the procedure. If all of the above protocols are followed precisely infection can only happen through improper aftercare. Failure to properly clean the tattooed area, use of unclean water, submersion, exposure to contaminants, scratching, picking, and scrubbing the tattoo can all lead to infection and damage to the tattooed skin. Each client will be given a thorough aftercare instruction card or can access aftercare instructions here. Following these instructions is in the client’s hands and, if done properly, will result in a more beautiful and healthy healing process. Ayiti Ink & Image only provides free touch ups to those who have followed aftercare instructions precisely.
It is more than reasonable to ask whether getting a tattoo in Haiti is safe. Tattoo safety is not a matter of location, however, but a matter of taking the proper precautions. The same preventative measures that make for a safe tattoo in North America provide for a safe tattoo anywhere else in the world, including Haiti. Clients of Ayiti Ink & Image can be confident that they are being tattooed in compliance with the strictest professional standards set by the American Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a clean & sterile studio environment. We also comply with the earth-friendly disposal standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is our goal that Ayiti Ink & Image would not only provide the most safe and professional tattoo venue in Haiti, but would exemplify skilled application, cleanliness, artistic integrity, and original creativity to rival the best tattoo shops around the world. We carry licenses for Tattooing in Florida and Washington State.