TATTOO and skin piercing businesses across the Dudley borough are urged to sign up to a free hygiene rating scheme, which has been relaunched this summer.

Dudley Council originally launched the scheme before the pandemic to rate standards of hygiene and cleanliness and give reassurance to anyone thinking of getting a tattoo or skin piercing procedure as poor hygiene standards can lead to infection, scarring and illness.

A number of studios had signed up to the scheme but were forced to close during the pandemic.

With many businesses having reopened and new businesses emerging, the council is getting the scheme back off the ground.

Businesses offering tattoo or skin piercing services can now request an official hygiene check, which will provide customers with the information they need before taking the plunge to get permanent body art or have decorative procedures performed.

The programme, similar to the food hygiene ratings system which has been running for a number of years, aims to raise hygiene standards in the borough and help ensure members of the public are well informed when deciding which business to use. It also includes businesses that offer semi-permanent make-up.

When businesses apply, environmental health officers visit the firm to carry out checks, based on national guidelines for hygiene. The business is then given a rating from one to five depending on how well they score – with five being excellent and one requiring major improvement.

Councillor Ian Bevan, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for public health, said: “We’re really keen to get this scheme underway again and work with local businesses to give people the reassurance they need when considering a tattoo or piercing.

“While the scheme can’t and won’t comment on a tattoo studio’s artistic abilities, it does allow people to make an informed choice based on hygiene.

“This scheme is open to traditional tattoo and piercing studios but also to beauty salons which may offer semi-permanent tattooing such as micro-blading.

“We have a small number of businesses already signed up but will be looking to expand it over the coming months.”

Piercings by Geana is among the businesses already signed up to the scheme.

The shop in Mill Street was awarded a top rating of five after an inspection on June 21.

Geana Sweeney, of Piercings by Geana, said she was “super proud” to have been awarded the top rating.

Jodie Knowles Tattoos in Brierley Hill, SS Tattoos in Kingswinford and Equator Beauty Ltd in Halesowen have also signed up to the scheme and have also been awarded top ratings of five.

Businesses taking part are awarded a window sticker and a certificate to display to customers.

Visits are made regularly to monitor standards.

Details on how to join the scheme and the scores for all businesses already registered can be found online at (search tattoo and piercing hygiene).