Piercing Preparation

Find a Shop

The first and most important thing to do when deciding to get a new piercing is to find a reputable shop and piercing professional. One of the best ways to do this is to search for reputable shops in your area. The Association of Professional Piercers has a search function on their website that allow you to search APP certified piercers near you! Make sure you are asking questions about your piercer and their shop. What type of jewelry do they use? How long have they been piercing? These questions are all important when trying to find the right professional. If you are going to an APP member, they should have a certification from the Association of Professional Piercers posted in their shop.

Look for a studio that is clean and open about their cleaning procedures and piercer qualifications. Both the studio and their staff members should be clean, they shouldn’t smell like any smoke or alcohol and they should be wearing decent clothing. The proper studio should consist of five separate zones. The first zones are the retail counter where transactions take place and a waiting area for people who are waiting for their appointment. They should also have a public restroom for patrons, a restroom that should not contain any cleaning solutions or contaminated piercing equipment.

Piercing Shop

 A separate room for piercing and a room for sterilization. The room for piercing should contain a bright light and have good ventilation throughout the room (and the shop). This room is an area that is sterile and should only be used for piercings. The ideal piercing room will have a sink for the piercer, liquid soap, and an air dryer. Lastly, the sterilization room is should be a separate area that is used for processing contaminated tools. The general public shouldn’t have access to this room, but it is important to ask if the room exists and what sterilization methods are used on their materials.

Find a Piercer

Finding a Piercer is just as important as finding a good quality shop, you will need to feel comfortable with your chosen piercer and their knowledge of body piercing. It is always a good idea to look at their piercing portfolio before being pierced. When it comes to piercing, experience is important! Performing a piercing is not easy and it takes time and dedication to safely perform the piercing procedure. This is a hands-on profession that takes a lot of knowledge about the body, jewelry standards, healing qualities, and body fluids. Piercing is something that is learned through practical experience as well as a long-time apprenticeship with a qualified piercer.

Search for a Piercer

Never be afraid to ask your piercer how long they have been piercing, how they have learned, how they keep their knowledge current, and if they continue to take anatomy, aftercare, and aseptic classes. The best way to earn trust is through friendly conversation and knowledge, a piercer should offer their knowledge and make you feel comfortable about the piercing you are looking to have done. A good piercer should always do an anatomy consultation before starting a piercing or performing a transaction. They will want to discuss jewelry options, the entire piercing procedure (what you should expect), the potential risks and complications, the healing process, and the aftercare instructions.

Make an Appointment

Most Professional Piercing shops and Professional Piercers prefer if you make an appointment. Making an appointment can ensure that you are not waiting in the waiting room for an hour, and it gives your piercer time to prepare for your piercing. When making an appointment make sure you know exactly what piercing you are looking to get done. Showing up with no idea of what you want done can be very frustrating, and a waste of time. A piercer can’t pick a piercing for you. They can look at your anatomy and suggest what piercings could work, but they don’t know what you like or your lifestyle. It is better to save time by knowing and consulting about the piercing you want before going to the shop. When you arrive for your appointment don’t forget a photo ID. This idea can be a passport, drivers license or a state ID showing that you are over the age of 18.

Piercing Shop Appointment

Most, if not all shops in the United States require you to be 18 years of age to get a piercing. The only exception to this rule is if you bring a parent or guardian to sign a waiver allowing you to get pierced. Some piercers have restrictions on what they will pierce if you are underage (even with parent permission). It is best to call and make sure that your piercer is willing to do the piercing with parental permission. When you go in to the shop for your appointment with a parent or legal guardian you will need to show proof that they are a parent or legal guardian. A parent will need an I.D (state, driver’s license, or Passport) and you will need another type of ID and a birth certificate. If your parent has a different legal name then yours, you will need a birth certificate proving the parental relationship. If you are bringing a legal guardian, the shop will need to see the proper paper work stating that they are your legal guardian, and they will also need a photo ID. When going to your appointment be prepared to sign a waiver that states you are of appropriate age and you are not under the influence of any illicit substances.

The Day of the Piercing

There are a number of different things you can do on the day of your piercing appointment that will make the piercing go smoother. The first thing you should do is to make sure that you are clean, and you have easy access to the piercing site. For example, if you are getting your ears pierced and have long hair, bring a hair elastic. Wear comfortable and breathable clothes, especially if your piercing is going to be covered by your clothing. Tight clothing often irritates the piercing and it can cause discomfort around the new piercing. Always make sure to eat a good meal before getting pierced! Eating a meal and drinking water will help your blood sugar and you will less likely to pass out during or after the piercing.

Do not go to the shop while under the influence of any type of drug or alcohol. If you have a medical condition be prepared to bring a doctor’s note and be honest with your piercer. The goal of a healthy piercing is to perform a safe piercing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before the piercing or after the piercing! The more empowered you are the better you can take care of your new piercing. A piercer can only tell you what they think you need to know about aftercare. Make sure to write down any questions you can think of and don’t be afraid to call or set up a “checkup” appointment! The piercing experience is aimed at being both fun and informational.

Disclaimer: If you have any questions or concerns about your piercing please consult your Professional Piercer or a Medical Doctor.