Selecting the right piercer is essential for your health and safety, as well as for the artistic arrival of your piercing. Do your homework and do not hesitate to ask questions, a lot of questions. By knowing what to check, you can ensure a safe and professional experience.
Any reputable piercer will be more than willing to discuss health and safety issues with you. If you sense your prospect piercer is a contact to discuss these issues, it's best to keep looking.
Does the studio have a license to operate?
The level of regulation varies among countries and states. In some cases, body piercing is not regulated. Check with your local health department to see if your area has established standards. If so, make sure the piercing studio meets the local authority standards.
Look for APP Certified Piercers
The Association of Piercing Professionals (APP) is an international, non-profit agency whose mission is to distribute public health and safety information on piercing. You can check out a list of their certified members on their website. Members will also have an APP certificate on their wall (be sure to check the expiration date!).
Ask about their autoclave and spore tests
This should be your first question. An autoclave sterilizes the jewelry, equipment, and piercing tools. This is the same device used by hospitals, doctors, and dentists to sterilize their equipment. It eliminates bacteria and their spores, including the most dangerous organisms like HIV and Hepatitis. If a potential studio is not using an autoclave, do not get pierced there. It's as simple as that.
Ask to see their spore test results. Spore tests check that the autoclave is working properly. Recent tests should be accessible and the studio should be willing to share the results with you.
Needles should never be reused
Single-use needles should be used for all piercings. Never let a piercer use a needle that was soaked in liquid or claim it has been reterilized. All needles should be in individual packages and should be opened in front of you. Look for a “Sharp Safe” container where the studio disposes all used needles.
Look for recommendations
Body piercing entails artistic skills, medical knowledge, as well as lengthy professional training and experience. A piercers' work can be the best testimony to their skills. If you know anyone with a good piercing, ask for their recommendation.
Avoid Ear guns
Avoid any piercing studio that uses an ear gun. Piercing guns are not sterile and can not be sterilized in an autoclave. Therefore, they do not meet the APP's guidelines for disposable, sterile equipment. Furthermore, piercing guns can cause body trauma and result in serious healing problems or infections.
A professional body piercer will always use a sterile, hollow needle-not a gun.
It's essential to consider the hygiene of the studio and its employees. The piercing studio- both waiting room and piercing room- should be spotless. All surfaces should be treated with an antibacterial cleanser. The studio should also be well-lit and smell clean.
The piercer should put on a new pair of latex gloves before each procedure. In fact, they should change gloves whenever they come in contact with any non-sterile object, like a phone or drawer. Often, gloves are changed frequently during the piercing procedure to avoid contamination.
Trust your instincts
Make sure you feel comfortable and listen to your gut. If you're not completely confident and comfortable with the piercer and / or studio, it's best to keep looking.