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Update: Department for Public Health (DPH) Proposed Tattoo Regulations

Update: Department for Public Health (DPH) Proposed Tattoo Regulations

Bill Stephens

May 24th, 2019


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 24, 2019) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), in response to concerns regarding a proposed update of the regulation dealing with tattoos, said today that the concerns are being heard. 

On April 15, 2019, CHFS filed a proposed amendment to update the tattoo regulation, 902 KAR 45:065. The intent of these regulatory revisions was aimed at addressing changes that have occurred in the tattoo industry over the last 15 years, the length of time since the regulation was last updated.

One intended change was to address potential health issues of tattooing over unhealthy skin, including recent or healing scar tissue.  Because of such potential risks, some states currently restrict tattooing of skin that has a rash, evidence of an infection, open lesions, or recent scar tissue. 

Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Dr. Jeffery Howard said, “The specific language in the proposed regulation had some unintended consequences and will be addressed.  The process requires the Cabinet to propose a regulation and then take comments from the public to make sure that the final product does what is best for everyone.”  Howard further stated, “We are glad to have the public’s input and we believe the final regulation will be improved by the comments we have received.”

The regulation is still open for public comment and is subject to change. DPH plans to address the language regarding tattooing over scarred skin once the public comment period has ended on May 31st.

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