Covering scars with tattoos? New proposed regulations might not allow it

Published: Apr. 29, 2019 at 5:40 PM EDT
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Regulations surrounding tattoos and the establishments you get them from are more than a decade old. For almost 15 years those regulations were not updated, until recently.

The Department of Public Health proposed new regulations this month. A lot of those proposed regulations focus on keeping Kentucky's tattoo shops clean, but one of the regulations has some shop workers unhappy.

"This is the only way for these people to move forward with their lives," said Draven Gayheart with Lost Gypsy Tattoo. "Camouflage that constant reminder of what they've gone through."

What Gayheart is referring to is the process of covering up scars with tattoos. In the newly proposed regulations, getting scars covered is not allowed.

Gayheart has covered up dozens of scars in his years as a tattoo artist. He even recently covered up one scar this previous weekend.

It's a matter that is close to him because he also covered up his wife's scar.

"My wife had a large portion of her bicep removed. She had a large scar in that area. She hid this scar for half of her life," he said. "It's been turned into something of beauty now."

This is the statement from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services:

"Regulations in this area have not been updated for about 15 years. The Department for Public Health (DPH) filed the proposed new regs this month. Public comments are being accepted through the end of May. A public hearing is also scheduled for May 28 at the Cabinet. DPH will review and analyze all comments and then determine what changes, if any, need to be made to the regulations. Comments can be directed to Chase Coffey, Executive Administrative Assistant, Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, 275 East Main Street 5 W-A, Frankfort, KY 40621; Phone: 502-564-6746; Fax: 502-564-7091;"

Gayheart says he hopes their voices will be heard because he is afraid that if it is not allowed in shops, people might go to places doing it illegally.

"And if this service isn't available in a clean establishment by trained personnel, they'll go elsewhere," he added.