In Italy, tattoos and permanent make-up have become increasingly popular in recent years. The number of tattoo parlours has increased from 257 in 2009 to 2,055 in 2014, wich is a eight-fold increase over the last 6 years. Although there is no specific legislation, the Italian Ministry of Health issued a document containing the 'Guidelines for the implementation of procedures for tattooing and piercing in safe conditions'. This document has not been adopted by all Italian regions, principally regarding training course requirements for tattoo professionals, creating a highly fragmented situation that resembles the European scene in miniature. ResAP(2008)1, which is not mandatory in Italy but was made binding by Italian Decree n. 206/2005, has been applied uniformly throughout the country. Thus, as far as the safety of inks is concerned, the surveillance system appears to be working well. However, surveillance has highlighted the presence of non-compliant inks and potentially unsafe preparations for tattoo removal in the market. Updating and rebalancing the situation will be the goal in order to face the challenge of combining well-being with the on-going social demand of looking after and beautifying the body. This would include the growing fashion of tattoos, provided that the products that are used are safe and that tattooing is performed in controlled hygienic conditions that fully guarantee the health of consumers.
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