Piercing Safety: Do You Know the Risks?
| 4 min read
- Choose a qualified piercer.
Qualified piercers should be able to display their knowledge, competency, and experience. A good piercer will give you a full consultation that explains the process, the potential risks, healing and aftercare steps. You can find piercers near you that adhere to the rules and guidelines of the Association of Professional Piercers here.
- Take note of the overall cleanliness of the studio.
From the moment you walk in the door, the piercing studio, equipment, and jewelry should appear clean. Equipment and jewelry for sale should be handled with care by professionals only, not customers. You can ask to watch your piercer prep for your piercing: sterilizing your equipment, washing their hands, putting on fresh gloves, and avoiding contact with anything that has not been sterilized once the gloves are on.
- Is everything separate?
To avoid cross-contamination, a piercing studio should have separate stations for waiting, sterilizing, piercing, and retail. It may seem like common sense, but never trust a piercer that uses the public bathroom as a place to clean and sterilize equipment. There should be a separate station for sterilizing equipment and jewelry that is not open for public use, a clean room for piercing clients, and a retail area where customers can purchase jewelry.
- One client, one needle rule.
A piercer should never use the same needle on more than one client, even if it was cleaned and sterilized between uses. Each needle should be discarded into a clearly marked bin, often marked “Biohazard,” similar to those in a doctor’s office. In addition, piercing guns are often difficult to sterilize. In general, they are not the recommended method for piercing.
- Keep up with policies.
Your piercer should be up-to-date with current policies and best practices in the industry, especially in regards to safety inspections, following age minimums and parent consent forms, and aftercare methods. Your piercer must always request photo ID and a parent consent form for minors and their guardians. Studio employees should not recommend the purchase of any harsh cleaners, alcohols, or other harmful products that could irritate your new piercing. This is likely a way for the studio to make money from unnecessary products.
- Go with your gut.
If the piercer or studio does not seem 100% right to you, don’t risk it.