Safety checklist 

A few days before having your piercing, visit the shop to check for any potential health risks.

Make sure you can answer "yes" to the following questions before going ahead:

  • Do they use a clean pair of disposable surgical gloves for each customer?
  • Do they wash their hands up to the elbow before carrying out your piercing?
  • Is the shop clean, with wipe-clean surfaces throughout (including the floor)?
  • Do they use single-use needles and throw them away after each piercing?
  • Are instruments kept in sealed packaging ready for use, or in an autoclave (steriliser) until needed?
  • Has the jewellery been pre-sterilised?
  • Is the piercer wearing clean, practical clothing, with long hair tied back?
  • Have they covered any cuts or wounds on their hands with waterproof dressings?
  • Does the piercer have a clear policy regarding age restrictions and parental consent?
  • Is the piercing area a no-smoking zone?
  • Are food and drink banned in the piercing area?
  • Are animals banned from entering the shop?

For an initial piercing, you should also ask what type of jewellery is being used – this should only be titanium. You should not ask for a piercing to be performed using your own jewellery, and the piercer shouldn’t ask you to bring in your own jewellery  

If only one lobe is being pierced, a pre-sterilised pack containing two earrings should be used, rather than a loose earring left over from a previous piercing. 

If you're taking medication, have heart disease, diabetes or any other medical condition, and are in doubt about the risks of piercing, talk to your GP.

Page last reviewed: 26/01/2015

Next review due: 26/01/2017