After receiving criticism from doctors and tattoo artists, Kentucky health officials have decided not to move forward with the portion of a proposal that prohibited tattooing over scarred tissue.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has filed an updated proposed administrative regulation, outlining requirements for tattoo studios in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In the process of drafting the regulation, the Cabinet received more than 600 public comments, a release notes. Officials said the input helped to inform the decision-making process and ensure the regulation was appropriate for modern industry standards.

“We truly appreciate the valuable input from the public in the regulation review process,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, Commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Public Health. "Based on comments received, we elected to remove the language relating to scar tissue.”

The intent of the language prohibiting the tattooing of skin that is scarred should have been to prohibit the tattooing of freshly scarred skin. However, that part was left out of the filed version of this administrative regulation, according to officials.

The Cabinet proposed an amendment to the tattoo regulation (902 KAR 45:065) in April, with the intent of addressing industry changes over the past 15 years.

Under the new rules, a person registering as a tattoo artist will have to complete a blood-borne pathogen training. The Cabinet has also updated the disinfectant and equipment sterilization process.

The registration process for a tattoo studio is outlined in the regulation, with increased fees to offset the inspection cost.

Finally, the new regulation will require a notarized statement of parental consent for a minor seeking a tattoo without a parent or legal guardian present.

Below is a summary of changes found in the “Amended After Comments” version of the regulation:

• Removes the prohibition against tattooing over scarred skin

• Updates definitions for autoclave, disinfectant, hand-washing and sterilization

• Specifies that a studio using all disposable products is exempt from the clean room and autoclave requirements

• Updates the record keeping procedures to allow for more modern procedures

• Revises the requirements for a temporary event license and workstation size.

The Cabinet has filed the updated regulation with the Legislative Research Commission. The amendment will be on the agenda at the Administrative Regulation Review subcommittee meeting in August.

Additional information is available at

Jonathan Greene is the editor of The Register; follow him on Twitter @jgreeneRR.

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