Currently, in Australia, there are no legal requirements that ensure a body piercer is qualified in the physical aspect of piercing. Some states have a minimum requirement on certifications such as infection control, but this does not mean they have the skill set to provide you with a safe and properly executed piercing.
Most professional establishments will generally have a portfolio showcasing their work, which should showcase well placed, aesthetically pleasing piercings, which also highlight the anatomy of the area.
Smoking or alcohol/drug consumption should never occur in a proper piercing establishment.
As piercing is a hands-on skill, it requires to some extent, trial and error over the period of their apprenticeship, which can span several years.
Some good questions to ask your piercer are
- How long have they been piercing?
- How did they learn?
- What actions do they take to keep their knowledge current?
- Have they received any bloodborne pathogen and infection control training?
- Do they have first aid and CPR certification?
- Do they ever turn down piercings?
A good piercer should take the time to:
- perform an anatomical consult
- help to select the appropriate jewellery
- discuss any risks or precautions
- provide a detailed aftercare plan that includes lifestyle factors
- show you that sterilisation is evident
- extend an invitation for appropriate check-up and downsize appointments
It is always a good idea to request to see a body piercer’s healed portfolio. In this day and age, many are on social networking sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
A responsible piercer will refuse to perform a piercing that the client does not have optimum anatomy to heal or will be unsafe from the client. If a piercer boasts they can do any piercing on anyone they may not understand the fundamentals of how the body heals.
Aftercare should always be given verbally, alongside a written document, and the client should always have ample opportunity to ask any questions about the healing process.
If you are given out-dated recommendations on aftercare products such as Dettol, Hydrogen Peroxide, antiseptics, creams, alcohol, harsh soaps etc, then the studio is not keeping up with industry standards, and finding another studio would be highly advised.
Never continue with a piercing if you feel your practitioner does not have the knowledge or care for you to receive a safe and proper piercing, or if you have any doubts in your mind.