Body piercing info aftercare tips and FAQ

Piercing is an ancient art form that has been practiced and enjoyed for centuries. Body piercing requires artistic talent, medical knowledge, professional training and a lengthy apprenticeship. Not everyone is qualified to pierce! Look for a professional piercer who uses sterile instruments and needles in a clean environment: check your piercer's experience, reputation and level of training. See if he/she has an autoclave to sterilize his/her tools, spore tests regularly, uses rubber gloves, and employs proper sterile/aseptic technique. Please be cautious, and never hesitate to question anything your piercer does or says. If you value your well-being, do your homework and choose your piercer carefully.
The recent popularity of piercing has brought an abundance of frighteningly irresponsible "butchers" into the piercing industry. Consider carefully before you trust your body to just anyone. Familiarize yourself with the Piercees' Bill of Rights and The Association of Professional Piercers Basic Ten Health & Safety Guidelines.
piercing guns-beware!
Ear piercing guns are not sterile, and cannot be sterilized. This is extremely dangerous since particles of fluid microspray (microscopic pieces of tissue, blood, and other body fluids) might be present on the gun and can easily be passed from person to person. Furthermore, ear piercing guns cause body trauma. The use of piercing guns and the jewelry installed by piercing guns can result in serious healing problems, infections, and the body's rejection of the piercing. A professional body piercer will always use a sterile, hollow needle, never a piercing gun.
Not all jewelry is appropriate
New body piercings are very sensitive to the materials placed in them. Never use silver, copper, brass, gold-filled or gold plated jewelry in a fresh piercing. To avoid healing problems stay with jewelry made of 316L grade surgical stainless steel, niobium, titanium, 14 or 18 karat gold or PTFE (a surgical grade plastic). The size and thickness (gauge) of body jewelry are also crucial to fast healing and the success of your new body piercing. Consult a well-trained piercing professional to select the best jewelry for your body type and piercing.
Flat body parts are not pierceable
There are a limited number of places that can be successfully pierced and healed on the human body. Most of them have two sides! For example, an earlobe, an ear rim, a nostril, a nipple or a navel flap. Beware of piercings in flat surfaces of skin. The chances of rejection are 90% to 100%.
Critical Questions
Any professional piercer should be able to answer a confident "yes" to all of these questions. Even one "no" should lead you to consider a different studio if you value your health and safety.
-Has a professional, open attitude?
-Studio is clean and well lit?
-Piercing is done in a special, separate room?
-Has an autoclave and an ultrasonic cleaner?
-Has documentation that autoclave is spore tested monthly?
-Uses sterile, disposable piercing needles?
-Uses individually sterilized and bagged tools?
-Changes gloves a minimum of four times during piercing?
-Uses only surgical stainless steel 316L, 14k or 18k solid gold, niobium or titanium jewelry?
-Complies with all state licensing requirements?
-Disinfects hard surfaces between piercings?
Bonus Questions
If a piercer meets these additional qualifications, it's likely that you're in the hands of a true professional, and will have a great piercing experience.
-Displays a current APP Member certificate?
-Offers to show you the whole studio, including sterilization room?
-Is prepared to provide ongoing assistance and follow-up with your new piercing?
-Has on hand a portfolio of well-healed, successful and attractive piercings s/he has done?
Run Away!
If you observe any of these tell-tale signs of a hack, turn around and leave. No professional piercer would do any of the following.
-Has a know-it-all, arrogant demeanor?
-Claims to be "certified", "licensed" or "approved"?
-Seems to be more interested in money than your safety?
-Base of operation is a van, tent, home or pager?
-Uses an ear piercing gun to pierce any part of the body, including earlobes?
-Uses earrings in body piercings?
-Piercing is done in the same room as tattooing, hair styling or other services?
-"Sterilizes" tools in a liquid disinfectant, such as Cidex or Madacide?
-Uses a pressure cooker in place of an autoclave?
-Tools laid out in open air?
go to Piercing Aftercare -or- Frequently asked questions