German soccer stars Mesut Özil and Jérôme Boateng are known for their skills on the pitch, but anyone who watched this year’s European Football Championship would also have noticed something else: their tattoos.
Much like their sports heroes, a growing number of Germans are opting for ink – particularly young people. Among the under-30 crowd, one in four has a tattoo. But the growing interest in permanent body art hasn’t resulted in tougher hygiene rules for the industry.
Many of the general guidelines that apply to tattoo studios in Germany are voluntary or apply on a state-by-state basis. This is especially true for the machines that artists use on their clients – and how hygienic those devices are.