The Quebec College of Physicians is complaining there is no control over certain areas of the tattoo, Botox and cosmetic procedure industry: a billion-dollar business.
The organization is bringing forward a series of proposals in the hopes of guaranteeing patient safety.
“It’s going to weed out all these monsters who are just there to cash in,” Adrenaline tattoo artist Dwayne Hanley said, who said he often has to fix other people’s mistakes.
He’s hoping the proposal becomes legislation.
“A client that came in had a tattoo that was relatively fresh and they were blistering,” Hanley said, who has received special training on how to deal with those cases, though it is not mandatory.
The problem is there are no rules governing the tattoo business in Quebec.
In fact, anyone can open up a parlour.
The Quebec College of Physicians wants to change that and turn it into a profession.
“If we do inspections for restaurants to make sure hygienic measures are respected, isn’t it even more important when you use needles from one client to another?” Dr. Yves Robert, secretary of the college, asked.
That’s something Hanley agrees with.
“It’s about time,” he said.
Doctors said accountability is also missing in the tattoo laser removal industry.
Some of these businesses don’t provide proper training to employees operating their equipment and that can lead to serious burns.
Although some industry professionals welcome stricter control, they say it might be bad for business.
“For a shop that does laser removal in such a small-scale basis as we do, I don’t know if it would be really worth it,” said Jennifer White, the manager of Adrenaline, which also has a small tattoo laser removal service.
“It sounds like it’s going to cost us a lot of money.”
The College of Physicians also thinks cosmetic clinics would benefit from what it calls a “medical director” who oversees quality of service.
“This means that if the quality is not there, this person, we can sue,” Robert said.
He said trained doctors should evaluate patients before they get Botox or other cosmetic injections.
“Anything that tries to regulate the cosmetic industry that is now a little bit on the ‘loosey goosey’ side, partly because it’s grown so fast, is a positive thing,” said Dr. Karl Schwarz, a plastic surgeon who applies Botox and fillers.
The Quebec College of Physicians is meeting with the provinces’s health minister in October to discuss the proposal.