State Watch

Kentucky to revisit language barring certain tattoos after backlash

Kentucky officials say they are revisiting a proposal that would restrict tattoo artists from creating tattoos that cover up scars after activists complained that the state's language was too vague.

Department of Public Health (DPH) officials in the state said Friday that the proposed ban would have had "unintended consequences" for artists and consumers after the proposal faced backlash on social media.

"DPH plans to address the language regarding tattooing over scarred skin once the public comment period has ended on May 31st," the department said in a press release, adding concerns about the proposed regulation "are being heard."

"We are glad to have the public's input and we believe the final regulation will be improved by the comments we have received," Dr. Jeffrey Howard said, adding that the ban would have "had some unintended consequences [that] will be addressed."

The proposal, if put in place, would have barred tattoo artists from inking over any skin that was afflicted by a wide variety of skin conditions, including everything from basic acne to more serious medical scarring, The Courier-Journal reported.

Tattoo artists would be prohibited from performing "on skin which has a rash, pimples, evidence of infection, open lesions, mole, sunburn, or manifests any evidence of unhealthy conditions without written clearance by a medical physician licensed by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure," according to the proposal.

Officials announced the proposal earlier this month, while not providing any reasoning for the ban, according to the Courier-Journal.

Twitter users drew comparisons between the proposed ban and other state laws around the country restricting abortion services.

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