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How to Pick Your Piercer

How to pick your piercer

Can you have one without the other? Yes or no?

When I think of the ultimate piercer, I think of the holy trinity. Great piercer, great jewellery, great aftercare. All vital for your successful healing journey. 

If you have two and not the other, you’re gonna have a hard time healing your piercing. If you have a great piercer and great aftercare but are putting mystery metals in your body, there’s a chance it won’t heal. Or great aftercare and great jewellery, but a piercer who doesn’t know what they’re doing with either? Not good! You need all three components to ensure you’re in the right

hands and you’re being set up to heal well.

Looking for a great piercer

So you’re in the market for a piercing? Where do you start? Most people would jump on a

search engine and search up “piercings Perth”. You might see the top hit and think because

it’s at the top, it must be good! This is not necessarily true. 

What you should do next is go through the reviews of each business and see what past clients have said! 

Once you’ve narrowed down a few you like, it’s best to look at their portfolio. What do their fresh piercings look like versus their healed piercings? Healed photos tell a lot. Anyone can put a needle through skin and make it look great straight off the bat but how does it look after a year? Are there irritation bumps? Has it migrated? Is it even there at all or did it have to be removed? 

It’s also best to look at what kind of piercings they do offer, as there are a few

piercings that are unsafe such as ‘snake eye’ piercings and surface bars in high movement

areas. If they offer these kinds of piercings, this is a huge red flag. A good piercer should put the client’s safety first. Offering those kinds of piercings is voiding that. 

You also may ask to see their First Aid, CPR and Bloodborne Pathogens certificate to ensure they’re staying up to date with industry standards and that you’re in safe hands.

The next is to check out their business address. Is it in a mall kiosk? Is it a home address? It

is in a stand alone studio? Is it located inside a tattoo studio, hairdressers or beauty salon? I

would avoid piercers who pierce in a mall kiosk. Most kiosks don’t come equipped with

plumbing or a sink. This means they can’t wash their hands before or after your piercing. Big no. Most kiosks also don’t have a sterilisation room where they can reprocess/clean used tools

or sterilise jewellery. This should be avoided at all costs. 

I also wouldn’t visit a piercing studio located in a home. There is major potential for cross contamination, infection and unsanitary conditions. We’re not saying people’s homes are dirty, but our houses don’t have the same level of cleanliness an industry standard piercing studio should have. If the piercer has a pet or a child/children in the home that share the space, this can be a major spread of germs. There may not be a dedicated sterile room where used tools are cleaned and sterilised and the sink they scrub the tools in may be the same sink they wash their dishes in. Their home may also be all carpeted which means the floor cannot be cleaned properly. Once you break skin, blood becomes airborne and lands on surfaces such as the floor. That is why studios get mopped daily. 

Having a piercer located in a stand alone studio, tattoo studio, hairdresser or beauty salon is fine as they all should have sterile rooms where tools can be reprocessed and jewellery can be sterilised and they have their own dedicated space to perform piercings away from where other services are happening.

Looking for great jewellery

Next, I would be looking at what kind of jewellery they use. I would only recommend using

APP compliant jewellery. You’ll be wanting to look for jewellery like this

This list includes implant grade titanium, 14kt and 18kt gold, niobium, glass, and certain types of steel. But beware, it’s all too often I see clients who have been pierced elsewhere where they have been pierced with what they’ve been told is titanium when it is in fact externally threaded surgical steel. Most clients are not well versed with what good quality looks like and trust that their piercer is not lying to them and unfortunately can get taken advantage of. 

As a client, you may ask your piercer for Mill certificates to verify their jewellery material. You don’t need to fully understand the certificate, just knowing they have this type of certificate is a good sign their jewellery is good quality and isn’t cheap as chips! 

If your jewellery is $15, think about how much they’d mark up that piece for them to make a profit off of it. They’d be paying a couple dollars for that and good quality jewellery definitely costs more than a couple of dollars wholesale. 

Looking for great aftercare

Okay so you’ve picked your studio, your piercer and your jewellery. Next is aftercare! You

may be able to see online if they stock great aftercare before even stepping foot inside the

studio! You only ever want to be using sterile saline solution on your piercings ever. If your

piercer suggests you make your own solution up, run for the hills. If they suggest tea tree

oil, lavender oil, chamomile, aspirin paste or literally anything else, take that as a red flag

and leave. Some piercers may have a ‘remedy’ to get rid of irritation bumps. This is a hoax.

Irritation bumps form from irritation, take the irritation away and the bump leaves too.

Finding out the reason for the irritation is a question of going through different factors that

may be impacting your piercing such as inappropriate aftercare, inappropriate quality of

jewellery, pierced at bad angles, starting/changing medication, trauma to the area, pressure

on the piercing from sleeping on it, catching it etc. 

Some great examples of quality aftercare are Neilmed Piercing Aftercare and Steriwash Piercing Aftercare. Just a note – I would only use sterile saline from a can that has a pressure valve, as a pump spray takes in air from outside the can to load up the next spray and essentially contaminates the bottle. Also take note of the expiry of your aftercare and make sure it’s in date!

Feeling comfortable in the studio

So when you arrive at the studio, your next question should be – “Are they going to ask for ID? Am I going to sign a consent form?” If they do ask for these things, great! If not, red flag! If they

don’t ask for these basic legal requirements, it gives me the impression that if they don’t

take that minimal aspect of the appointment seriously, will they take all the other parts

seriously and handle me with care? Where else are they cutting corners?

Before you hop up on the piercing bed and they’re pulling out jewellery to pierce you with,

make sure the jewellery is sterile. Jewellery may come wrapped in a bag with a blue clear film over it. This means it’s been through an autoclave and there are indicators on this bag that change colour to show it’s been processed. You can ask to see this to make sure it’s been processed. Jewellery can also come unbagged and have gone through a quick autoclave cycle through a Statim autoclave which doesn’t require bags. If this is the case, you can also ask to see an indicator strip that piercers will include in their cycle to check that the cycle has completed correctly.

So everything looks good to go! You’re laying down on the bed, being marked up and you’re

feeling some type of way about your piercer? Bedside manner is a huge part of your

piercing experience. Did your piercer make you feel comfortable or were they abrasive and

rude? Did they answer your questions respectfully or did they make you feel silly for asking

them? (Hint: There’s no such thing as a stupid question). Were they making inappropriate

comments about your body or touching you in a way that was unrelated to the piercing? Did

they talk about inappropriate subjects while you were in the room or was there an overall

‘ick’ feeling? All I’m going to say is: Trust your gut. You want to feel comfortable with your

piercer, feel informed, empowered and like you’re in good hands. Your piercer should be

putting your health and safety as their first priority.

It can be really hard to find a good piercer, but when you do, hold onto them. They are far

and few between. Please do your research! Whenever there are needles involved, breaking

skin and blood, you want to be in the best hands possible! Good luck!

If you’re looking for your next piercing, get in touch with me here or make a booking!



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