Search

Home tattoo fad putting Barking and Dagenham teens in danger of infection

07:00 04 June 2014

Tattooist's Gary Bullock 50 and Ben McCarthy 35 who work at Churchills Tattoos in Chadwell Heath.

Tattooist's Gary Bullock 50 and Ben McCarthy 35 who work at Churchills Tattoos in Chadwell Heath.

Archant

Ten people a day in Barking and Dagenham – many of them underage – are undergoing laser treatment or having cover-ups after
being inked by unlicensed tattoo artists, it has been claimed.

The tattoo an 18-year-old girl (who wished not to be named) got when she was 14 from a home tattooist. She is now having it lazored off at Churchills Tattoos in Chadwell Heath.The tattoo an 18-year-old girl (who wished not to be named) got when she was 14 from a home tattooist. She is now having it lazored off at Churchills Tattoos in Chadwell Heath.

Youngsters risk infection and disappointment with their tattoos but are attracted by lower prices and unscrupulous age checks.

Churchills Tattoos worker Ben McCarthy said on average he had to remove or obscure two tattoos each day that were the handiwork of unlicensed tattooists.

Between them, four other tattoo parlours estimated nine people each day made the same request.

Ben said customers were putting themselves in danger of hepatitis, HIV and even cancer through contaminated needles and dangerous, impure inks. “Kids don’t have a clue they’re putting themselves at risk,” he added.

Churchills Tattoos, Chadwell HeathChurchills Tattoos, Chadwell Heath

When the Post visited Gary’s Chadwell Heath parlour an 18-year-old woman – who asked to remain anonymous – was discussing having a tattoo of the word “nanny” removed from her thigh.

She was inked when she was just 14 – four years under the age of consent.

“I’m so unhappy with it,” she said. “It just doesn’t look nice – it’s wonky and feels a bit bumpy. When I was having it done there were animals around and the tattooist was smoking.”

The girl will need at least 12 sessions priced £40 each to have the tattoo removed.

The lazer machine used to remove unwanted tattoosThe lazer machine used to remove unwanted tattoos

But Kayleigh Thompson, who has had two tattoos carried out by an unlicensed home tattooist her friend had recommended, said her experience was “fantastic”.

“Everything was clean and sterilised,” she said, “and the tattoo wasn’t overly expensive.”

Former home tattooist Bradley Lockhart, who now works officially, said more young people were getting tattoos done below board 
because shops charge “silly amounts” – between £80 and £400 an hour.

Bradley, of Dagenham, added tattooing at home had helped him build up a “good customer base”.

“My work is very good and that’s why I’ve been so successful,” he added. “I practised on my own leg and my family when training.

“I’ve never had any complaints except when people haven’t looked after their tattoos.”

Ben urged the council to clampdown on home tattooists.

“People think they’re saving money,” he said, “but they’ll only spend it in the 
future getting laser removal, or having treatment for an infection.”

Read more:

Barking and Dagenham pharmacies offering free heart rhythm checks

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

18:30

The Nigerian flag was raised outside Barking Town Hall this afternoon to celebrate 56 years since the country’s independence.

15:00

Hope was at the core of a taboo-busting series of short films created by and for young women.

12:06

Five kittens were found abandoned and soaked through in a rucksack yesterday afternoon.

A cutting-edge artist who has shown her work at the Saatchi gallery has opened her own exhibition space in Barking.

Yesterday, 18:30

Broadway Theatre will be closed throughout October as it continues to recover from an explosion.

Yesterday, 15:00

“Exceptional” academic talent was honoured at Barking town hall.

Yesterday, 12:24

A beloved comedy actor has urged people to dig deep to honour “Barking’s best”.

Yesterday, 11:03

The borough’s largest college is considering plans to merge with a second further education institution.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now