|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.
-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?
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?
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?