It is estimated that one in five of the UK population is tattooed and in young adults the figures increase to one in three.
As with most things in life there are always risks when having a tattoo but the Local Government Association claims illegal tattooists, also known as 'scratchers', are putting people at risk of catching hepatitis and HIV.
So if you have decided you want a tattoo, how can you keep the risks to a minimum?
Tattoo safety considerations
How to find a good tattoo artist in your area
Before, during and after the procedure
Before starting the design the tattoo artist should ask you questions about any health problems and allergies so that they are aware of any issues that could lead to complications.
For each session the tattoo artist should use a needle from a sealed package and proper tattoo ink that is sterile. Have you seen the tattoo artist wash his/her hands and put a clean pair of gloves? If you have any concerns don't be afraid to ask them direct.
Finally the tattoo artist should provide you with aftercare advice which may include dressing area and information on how to look after your new tattoo.
Illegal tattooists may look like a cheap alternative to using a registered artist, but as with most professions you generally get what you pay for.
Is getting a cheap tattoo really worth the increased risk of infection or ending up with artwork you are not happy with?