A TATTOOIST in Winyates has expressed concerns that there may be “rogue” body piercers practicing in Redditch.

Malcolm Phillips, who runs Mad Malc’s Tattoo Parlour, says he has had to correct a lot of body piercings recently that have been undertaken by unqualified piercers and warned potential customers of some of the signs they can look out for.

“It’s a very big concern. I’ve seen many tongue piercings where they’ve missed one of the main veins by a couple of millimetres, and everyone keeps coming to me to fix them.

“Having a piercing in someone’s house is generally not right. Ask to see a registration certificate which will be signed by an environmental health officer.

“If they use plastic for the piercing that's a bad sign, and they should have an autoclave, that’s a machine which sterilises, like those used in hospitals to sterilise surgical equipment.”

Piercings done incorrectly can start to embed, and tongue piercings can cause the tongue to swell up. Malcolm is concerned that anyone whose tongue is still swollen after two weeks stands a chance of infection.

For anyone concerned they might have used an unqualified body piercer, he added: “You can report them to the Environmental Health officer at the town hall and he will investigate. It's best to see a qualified piercer first, and they can refer you to a doctor if they think it's necessary.”

To contact an Environmental Health officer at Redditch Council, call 534017.