CHOOSING A PIERCER
You have decided to have your body pierced
and you are asking yourself, "I want it done now, so
where do I go?" In this era of bloodborne diseases
you MUST be very careful who you have perform your piercing!
This guide is brought to you by the The Association of Professional
Piercers to assist you in making a better-informed decision
regarding your piercing because IT'S YOUR CHOICE!
These questions will help you pick your
piercer and piercing studio. These are meant to be guidelines
and can aid you in having a safe piercing experience.
SEE THEIR AUTOCLAVE (STERLIZER)
AND SPORE TESTS.
This is the most important thing you need
to do when checking out ANY potential piercing studio. If
they don't have an autoclave run away! ("Dry Heat" is NOT considered appropriate for sterilization.) Ask to
see their spore test results. A spore test is the only way
to know the autoclave is working properly. If they don't
run regular spore tests, don't let them pierce you!
DOES THE SHOP REUSE NEEDLES?
This is one of the most important things
you MUST check. Does the studio resterilize used needles?
Make sure you see the piercer place the used needle in a
sharps container. NEVER let a piercer use a needle on you
that was soaked in a liquid. All needles should be in individual
packages and should be opened while you are present.
DOES THE STUDIO SEEM CLEAN?
Check it out! Is the piercing studio immaculate:
the walls washed, carpet vacuumed? Are the staff bathed
and neat? Is the restroom kept clean and tidy? If you feel
they are not, walk out! Every good studio should have 5
separate areas: the counter, waiting room, piercing room(s),
bathroom, and a separate sterilization room.
ASK YOUR FRIENDS WHERE THEY
Here are a few questions you should consider:
Does their piercing look like a piercing you would want?
Did they have any problems or infection during healing?
Was the staff at the piercing studio able to help them if
they had any complications? Would they get pierced there
USE YOUR INSTINCTS.
If you don't feel comfortable with the
studio or the piercer you should leave. Repeatedly we hear "I should have listened to my gut feeling." So
listen to it! If the studio seems more interested in your
money than your health that is a sign to leave the studio
ARE THEY PIERCING WITH EAR PIERCING
If you are going to have a body piercing
and the studio is using an ear gun, run away! Inform your
health department! A number of states have made it illegal
to use a gun on body piercings. Plastic ear guns can't be
sterilized in an autoclave and therefore don't meet the
criteria for APP piercers' use of sterile disposable equipment.
ASK QUESTIONS OF THE STAFF AND
When responding to questions do they seem
knowledgeable? It takes a long time to learn what jewelry
is optimal for each piercing. Ask the piercer how long they
have been piercing and how they learned. It takes even longer
to acquire the ability to correctly place and skillfully
perform the piercing. Make sure the piercer is well-informed.
Check to see any certificates or plaques the wall. Don't
be mislead into believing piercing is easy. Look at his
or her piercings and peruse their piercing photo portfolio.
Do you like what you see? If not, leave. You can be injured
by a poorly performed piercing!
CHECK THE STUDIO'S JEWELRY SELECTION.
There are lots of different types of piercings
so there should be a variety of different types, styles
and sizes of jewelry. The studio should not insist on a
certain style because that is the only thing they have in
When referring to size of jewelry there
are two measurements. One is the width (of a ring) or length
(of a bar) called the "diameter" of the jewelry.
The other is the thickness of the jewelry, which is the
"gauge." As a general rule; jewelry no thinner
than 14 gauge should be used below the neck. This is because
of a likelihood of migration and cutting. The smaller the
gauge number the thicker the jewelry.
DO THEY HAVE AN AFTERCARE SHEET?
All professional studios should give you
an aftercare sheet explaining how to take care of your piercing.
Read this sheet BEFORE you have the piercing done! If it
tells you to clean your piercing with ointment or hydrogen
peroxide, the studio is clearly not keeping up with the
industry standards and you should be concerned with the
quality of piercing you would receive.
DOES THE STUDIO HAVE A LICENSE
Many cities and states do require that
the studio have a license. In most cases the license means
that the studio meets minimum requirements and has passed
some sort of inspection. To find out if your area has established
standards and inspections, call your local Health Department.
If the studio is illegally unlicensed do take the time to
report them. Chances are they are not performing safe, hygienic
piercings and could be endangering the health of piercees
in your region.
CHECK TO SEE THE STUDIO'S AGE
Many states have laws regarding the minimum
age for piercing minors with parental consent. Even if the
law allows it, many piercers feel certain piercings are
not appropriate for minors. If the studio is more interested
in making money than upholding sound morals and ethics use
your judgment. Please understand the studio's right to enforce
its own age limitations.
SEE THE PIERCING ROOMS AND SET-UP?
Ask if you can watch them set-up for a
piercing. Even better is to ask to observe a piercing being
done. (Not all piercing studios will let people watch, but
you can ask.) At least make sure you can see them set up
for YOUR piercing. During preparation the piercer should
first wash and glove their hands. The equipment should be
sealed in individual sterilized packages and placed on a
tray. The piercer should change gloves if they touch anything
in the room other than you and the sterile equipment. If
you are not satisfied with the set up, walk away!
IS THE STUDIO RECOGNIZED BY
All APP Piercers will have a certificate
that should be hanging on the studio's wall. The certificate
has an expiration date on it; make sure it is current. For
a list of APP Piercers you can check out our members section
or call 1-888-888-1APP. If you find a studio that claims
to have an APP Piercer and is not on this list please call
and let us know.