Public hearing held for proposed ban of tattooing over scars

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – New proposed tattoo regulations from the state have a lot of people talking, especially a proposal banning tattooing over scars.

Some passionate speakers took to the podium to address the state at a public hearing in Frankfort.

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“I work pro bono with a battered women’s shelter in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to cover up tattoos on the women in this facility. They had tattoos such as the names of their abusers, or just something that triggered emotions, surrounding the abuse they’ve endured. When these old tattoos have been covered, they didn’t have to see the daily reminder of a horrible moment in their life,” said Hal Carder, a veteran and owner of Baldy’s Tattoo.

Carder expressed his issues with the new proposed tattoo regulations, including a ban on tattooing over scars.

“I’ve also tattooed a lot of wounded veterans coming back. That is a big, big change in their life. These men and women come back with severe scars mentally and physically, some of the physical scars, bring on the mental scars,” said Carder.



He isn’t alone, prosecutor and breast cancer survivor, Virginia Harrod, shared her tattoo experience.

“Because when you are reconstructed, and insurance pays, you’re a blank canvas without any painting on the white. And it took actually a tattoo artist to make me feel and look like a woman again that was not a freak,” said Harrod.

The state released a statement last week saying the regulations haven’t been updated in 15 years.

“One intended change was to address potential health issue of tattooing over unhealthy skin, including recent or healing scar tissue,” the statement said.

The Department of Public Health will be taking comments until May 31st and will issue a response in July.