Delaware public health officials shut down underground tattoo parlor in Millsboro

A Millsboro man was ordered to cease tattooing after public health officials learned he was operating a unregulated parlor out of his home without a permit.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) ordered Angel Garcia, of Millsboro, to cease tattooing activities in his home, in violation of Title 16 of the Delaware Code. Body art activities should only be performed in DPH-permitted facilities. Private residences are not properly equipped for these activities to be performed safely.

DPH officials learned that Garcia was reportedly tattooing out of his residence without a required body art establishment permit which lead to the cease and desist order issued Thursday, Dec. 9.

The unregulated tattoo parlor kept no client records and, as a result, DPH cannot follow the normal protocol of contacting individuals by letter to ask them to seek medical testing and, as a result, officials are now informing the public through press releases and social media.

DPH encourages anyone who may have received tattooing or other body art services at this location to contact their health care provider for evaluation for diseases such as hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that may have been transmitted through the equipment. Tell the doctor about receiving a tattoo or piercing from an unregulated establishment, when it occurred, and any symptoms since the visit.

Body art establishments regulated by DPH are inspected and must meet requirements for sanitation, proper disposal of needles, use of gloves, and many other items. Before getting any kind of body art done, individuals should always insist on seeing the Public Health permit, which is required to be posted in an obvious location.

Delawareans served by the illegal operation can also contact the DPH Bureau of Communicable Diseases at 302-744-1050 if they have questions about potential transmission risks

When in doubt, DPH recommends seeking testing for HIV and hepatitis. It is possible to carry these viruses for years without knowing it due to lack of symptoms, and, even if the virus cannot be traced to the closed tattoo parlor, knowing one’s HIV and hepatitis status can help get treatment and prevent further spread of these viruses. To learn more about free testing options in your area, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *