MASON CITY, Iowa- For Josh Reindl and Brad Duckert, getting a tattoo is more than just work.
“It’s relaxing, kind of meditative, you have to get your breathing right and get your body in the zone,” said Reindl.
“It does weird stuff to your body also, it starts releasing endorphins,” said Duckert.
But in their line of work, people tattooing without a license is concerning.
“When they come in and it’s infected it’s because the aftercare isn’t the same,” said Duckert. “They don’t know how to take care of the tattoo because one of their buddies did it out of a garage; it’s obviously not a professional.”
And it happens more often than you might think.
“They come in and have horrible work,” he said. “I mean we have portfolios photos of stuff we add to on a daily basis.”
Those with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health say they are investigating a case of an artist practicing without having a license and say if you have had a tattoo done by an unlicensed artist you should get tested for HIV as well as Hepatitis B and C.
But this isn’t new.
It’s always been going on and it’s always going to continue to go on,” said Duckert.
Which is why he says people need to really learn not only about the person doing the tattoo, but the safety concerns that come with having it done in an unsanitary place.
“If they don’t have the training or the qualifications they’re not regulated by the state and they can get really sick,” he said.
Below are links to the licensed tattoo shops in both Iowa and Minnesota
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