Have you recently considered getting a piercing? But you're not so sure how to find a good piercer, more importantly, a safe one. In this guide, we will give you some advice on how to find one.
Ask to see their sterilizer (also called an autoclave). This device is used to sterilize all the jewelry, tools and equipment.
Most use a combination of steam and pressure. The sterilizer should not use dry heat as this isn’t appropriate for proper sterilization. Make sure they have one and it is in working order.
Make sure the parlor has a recent spore test result file for you to be able to look at.
This test is the only true indicator that the sterilizer is working properly. The parlor should always have the most recent test results handy and be willing to show it to anyone who asks. If they refuse to show you it is best to select another parlor.
Ask if you can watch as they set up for a piercing. Also, make sure you are in the room as they set up for your piercing. The first thing a piercer does is wash their hands and put on rubber gloves. All the equipment used should be sealed in sterile, air-tight bags and placed on a tray.
You should never let a piercer use a needle that was soaked in a liquid. All needles should be thrown away in a sharps container (usually labeled as a biohazard or something similar) directly after being used only once.
No needle should ever be reused.
Ask if they provide aftercare guidelines. Care for piercings should be explained to you in detail and provided to you in writing.
You should read this sheet BEFORE you have the piercing done!
If it tells you to treat your piercing with ointment, harsh soap, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, the studio is not adhering to industry standards.
It's advised checking if they have established rules in regards to piercing someone underage.
They should require at least the written consent of the parent or guardian. If not it may seem a bit shady how the parlor is willing, or its a sign of not really checking in with anything. So its best to go to a different parlor if this is the case
Another to thing to check if is they use an ear-piercing gun. Many states have made it illegal to use a piercing gun. This is because the piercing gun is unable to be sterilized in the autoclave and thus doesn’t meet the criteria for APP piercers.
Find out if they are a member of the APP.
APP members all have a certificate that would be hanging on the wall of the studio in plain sight. This certificate tells if this is a legitimate business and is up to current legal standards of a piercing parlor.
These certificates have an expiration date so make sure it is current.
Sometimes at the end of everything, its best just to trust you gut about these kinds of situations. If you feel uncomfortable with the studio or the piercer, you should leave.