Body piercing and tattooing
If you are thinking about getting a body piecing it is important that you think through the health risks. If it’s carried out correctly piercing is a relatively safe procedure but there can be horrific consequences if it’s done badly.
The most serious risks are infections, allergic reactions, excessive bleeding, and damage to nerves or teeth. There could be a risk of contracting infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C if equipment isn’t properly sterilised. To protect the public there are strict laws & guidelines concerning the person doing the piercing and the premises from which they operate. Reputable piercers will not pierce anyone under 16 without their parent or carer’s consent.
Before committing yourself visit the shop or studio and talk to the piercer or tattooist.
- Do they have good hygiene and always wear disposable latex gloves when piercing or tattooing?
- Do they use brand new, sterile needles for each new customer?
- How is equipment and jewellery sterilised?
- What type of metal is the jewelry - ideally it should be either surgical steel or gold
- Is the ink in disposable pots?
Have a good look around and make sure the place looks spotless and clearly set up for the purpose. The person and the studio must be registered with the local council. Look for the certificate of registration and check that the person piercing or tattooing is named on the certificate.
It is illegal for anyone to tattoo someone under 18 years. Don’t have a tattoo from someone operating illegally from their home. They may have brought some kit very cheaply and think they know what they are doing, but you are putting your health at serious risk. Wait until you are 18, go to a registered studio and a competent artist. Don’t attempt to pierce or tattoo yourself or a friend.
Before you decide what you want to do, ask your friends, parents, and trusted adults what they think. If you’re not 100% sure about getting a piercing or tattoo don’t be afraid of backing out.
You can find out more about body piercing and tattooing at the websites listed under the websites tab above.