Health department investigating tattoo-related infections in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND): The Illinois Department of Health is warning people of tattoo infections.

Two people in Springfield who recently got tattooed at the same tattoo shop developed skin infections.

Now, the health department is asking Sangamon County hospitals and clinics to be on the lookout for tattoo-related infections.

"It's a medical procedure in which needles are used and it causes pricking of the skin," Impiez Bangesh, with HSHS St. Mary's Hospital,says.

Going under the needle can be a form of self expression, but medical officials say people should do their research to avoid infection.

"[With] an infection, you get redness, pain, and, if it is bad, you can get puss oozing from the site," Bangesh says.

The co-owner of Oakwood Tattoo in Decatur says there are things you can do to ensure the parlor is up to code.

"When you go into the shop they'll have a certification on the wall  that states if they've been inspected by the State of Illinois," Frank Whittington says.

He says to check out the shops online, looking for references and a social media presence. 

And he says after getting tatted you should keep the area clean.

The shop also advises keeping an eye on the artist as they prepare for your tattoo.

"Well you should be able to watch them open everything as they set up for your tattoo," Whittington says.

He says you should pay close attention that every thing they use is sterile.

The shop also advises asking around about a tattoo shops' reputation.

"Word of mouth is always good, so if you're not hearing great things, probably don't go there," Whittington says.

The two people who originally had skin infections have recovered.

Te health department is continuing to look into the tattoo-related infections in Springfield.

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