Tattooing and piercing are essentially minor medical procedures, so it makes sense that tattoo artists and piercers routinely use some types of medical equipment in their work. The most common medical supplies found in tattoo and piercing studios are medical disposables like gloves, masks, gauze, and other PPE that help prevent bacterial infections and the transmission of viruses and other pathogens. These medical supplies have always been important to ensure the safety of artists and clients during body modification procedures, but they have become even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disposable medical gloves are one of the most basic medical disposables for body modification, and they come in various colors, sizes and materials. Latex is the traditional material option for disposable gloves, but nitrile gloves have become increasingly popular as more artists and clients take care to avoid risks associated with latex allergies. Additionally, color options like black and purple can help to make procedures feel less medical and intimidating for some clients.
Other medical disposables such as disposable medical masks, disposable medical gowns, medical tape, and gauze serve many purposes in tattooing and piercing. With the rise of COVID-19, it is critically important for tattoo and piercing artists to have a sufficient supply of medical masks, both for their safety and the safety of their clients. In addition to masks, medical gowns and other disposable medical barriers help to minimize the risk of infection from blood or surface contamination.
Medical gauze is commonly used to clean and control any bleeding during or after tattoo and piercing procedures, and can be secured with disposable medical tape to manage light bleeding as the client heals. Most tattoo artists also use medical barrier film to cover fresh tattoos. For artists who practice other forms of body modification such as scarification, scalpel blades are tools of the trade, as well.
For shops or artists that sterilize their own tools and equipment using an autoclave, sterilization pouches and autoclave tape are another important disposable good to keep in stock. Proper sterilization pouches help ensure that the autoclave process is completed correctly and leaves tools disinfected and ready for use. It is critical, however, that medical disposables such as gloves, masks, gowns, gauze, and tape are never reused. Once they’ve been opened and used, they should be thrown away.