In an age where body modification has become commonplace and popular it is easy for the every day man, or woman, to fall into the trap of going for the cheapest or easiest route of getting something pierced. Alongside the rise in popularity of piercings there has also been a rise in horror stories about dodgy piercing places. There have been numerous news reports of teenagers, and adults, ending up in hospital with severely infected ear piercings, or incorrectly pierced belly button bars, or tongue bars that have been pierced so badly that they’ve caused nerve damage. The list goes on.
In reality, getting something pierced is a simple and safe procedure that more likely that not, if performed by the correct professional, heals with ease and has no complications in the short or long term. As someone who has had many piercings over the years, almost all of which have now been removed, I have a lot of experience with how to spot a decent piercing studio. I know how to decipher between the amateur and the expert, and can now share a few tips and tricks on how to get pierced correctly and safely.
- MAKE SURE THEY USE STERILE EQUIPMENT
This, above all else, is a complete and utter must. Any self-respecting, professional studio makes sure that they have sterilized all their equipment before and after any customers come into contact with them. Don’t accept a piercing from a place that has used needles lying around or don’t get new ones out of packages before piercing.
- DON’T SETTLE FOR RUDE BEHAVIOUR/ NASTY ATTITUDES
You have to remember that the piercer is going to be handling a part of your body and they have to be respectful of their “human canvas”, so to speak – therefore don’t go to a studio where the staff seem bored, uncaring or rude. You are the one who has to live with this piercing and be there for the healing process, so do not trust someone who just sees you as another source of income. Don’t forget that if they can’t be bothered to be helpful or attentive before the piercing then they’re not going to be much help when it comes to the aftercare.
- GLOVES AND MARKINGS ARE A MUST!
As well as having sterile equipment, all experienced piercers recognise the importance of keeping their hands covered with medical latex gloves and marking the spot that they plan to pierce before doing so. This is a fundamental measure to reduce cross contamination, so if they don’t understand that then they clearly weren’t trained properly. If you come across a piercer that refuses to do either of those things, or won’t let you change the marking spot then just walk out, because chances are they don’t have a basic understanding of hygiene standards.
- A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS… AND NO INFECTIONS
Never get pierced in a shop that doesn’t have examples of previous customers. Would you trust a restaurant that had not previously had any customers that left good reviews? Simply, it either proves that they’re not experienced in doing professional piercings, that they didn’t care enough to be proud of their work, or that all the piercing jobs they’ve done have been really bad quality. All things that you DON’T want in a body modifier.
- NO LICENSE, NO PIERCING
If you’re not sure, or if it’s not made evident in the shop window, ALWAYS ask if they’re a licensed shop – and ask for proof. Trust your instincts and if you think a place may not be registered to pierce then ask them to see their license. If they’re doing their job properly they won’t be offended when you ask, or will already have it proudly on display.
- NEVER TRUST A PIERCER WHO’S DRUNK AND WANTS TO PIERCE YOU WITH A RUSTY NEEDLE
You’d think this one would be pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who have fallen for this.
Here are a few examples of some respected, professional piercers:
Holier Than Thou – Manchester
Modern Body Art – Birmingham
Extreme Needle – London