The Columbus Public Health Body Art Program approves and inspects body art facilities in Columbus and Worthington.
Body art is the general term for tattoos, piercings, and permanent cosmetics. Body art operations are regulated by the local health department to protect customers and artists from potential health risks, such as the spread of blood borne pathogens.
Microblading is an emerging trend and Columbus has seen an increased number of artists performing the service. Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure for eyebrow enhancement and has many terms, but in general it is a hand-method tattooing technique and falls into the category of permanent cosmetics. Facilities that offer microblading must adhere to the same regulation and standard as all other body art operations.
Regulations and requirements for body art facilities and operations are found within the
Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3701-9 Tattoo and Body Piercing Services.
OPERATING A BODY ART BUSINESS
The Body Art Program will assist new business owners in planning their body art operation to ensure that they meet necessary standards.
Any person who intends to operate a tattoo or body piercing business in Columbus or Worthington must contact Columbus Public Health. An application packet must be submitted at least 30 days before the anticipated opening date. The application packet is reviewed by the Body Art Program Coordinator and the on-site inspection for final approval to begin services will take place when the review is complete.
Body Art Licensing Packet
Body Art Licensing Packet (Electronically Fillable)
Program Fee Schedule
Temporary Body Art Events take place outside of an approved body art facility. The Temporary Body Art License Application must be completed and submitted with appropriate payment at least 10 days in advance of the first day of operation.
Temporary Body Art License Application
INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC
We want you to have a healthy and safe experience during and after a body art procedure. Below are a few tips to help guide you through choosing a facility.
Is it approved?
A good first step is to verify the facility you have chosen is approved and inspected by the local health department. Inspection results for facilities in Columbus and Worthington are posted on the Columbus Public Health website:
Search for Inspection Results
What does the facility look like?
- Body art facilities are required to be maintained clean and in good repair.
- There should not be visible dirt, dust, or debris in the body art procedure area.
- All equipment should be stored in closed containers or cabinets and kept clean.
- All chairs, arm rests, stools, or beds should be made of a non-absorbent material (no cloth fabrics) and without any tears or cracks.
- There should be sufficient lighting for the artist to work in the procedure area.
- There must be a hand washing sink available for the artist supplied with hot water, soap, and paper towels.
- There must be a restroom available with a separate hand washing sink.
Is the artist knowledgeable?
- Check references and reviews from previous clients. Understand the artist's experience and training prior to committing to the procedure.
- The artist should show you that equipment (needles, tubes, jewelry) has been properly sterilized before it touches your skin. If you are not satisfied that equipment has been properly sterilized, you do not want the procedure.
- Look for frequent hand washing and the use of gloves. The artist must be wearing gloves during a body art procedure. The artist is required to wash hands using soap and water prior to putting on a pair of gloves.
- The artist should maintain aseptic technique when dispensing equipment - using only clean or gloved hands and avoiding contamination of the hands.
- The artist should ask if you have conditions which could affect the healing process of your procedure.
- The artist must not be impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- The artist must not knowingly have an infectious or contagious disease.
- Be cautious of an artist not willing to share information you have requested.
After your procedure
To prevent infection, proper aftercare of your new body art procedure is very important. Your artist must provide verbal and written aftercare instructions and you should follow these closely. A body art procedure creates an open wound in your skin - as with any other wound, it must be kept clean to properly heal.
If you develop an infection or other reaction you should contact your health care professional. You should also notify your artist.
A note about earlobe piercings - An earlobe piercing performed by an ear piercing gun is exempt from approval and regular inspection by the local health department. If you are interested in this type of service here are some tips to ensure the procedure is safe:
- Individual performing the service should be trained with proper use of the ear piercing gun
- Individual performing the service should wear a clean, new pair of gloves for each piercing
- The ear piercing gun should be visibly clean and stored in a covered container or cabinet when not in use
- An ear piercing gun shall only be used pierce earlobes
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Resources & Links
SUBMITTING A COMPLAINT
To report a complaint about a body art facility in Columbus or Worthington, call 311 (614) 645-3111 or go to
Inspection Results & Color Coded Signs
At all of our licensed facilities, including body art businesses, we now post a small color-coded sign that is based on the results of the most recent inspection. Inspection results and color-coded signs may also be viewed on our map. Learn more ...