So you need to find a piercer. This could be your first piercing or maybe your old piercer retired. Maybe you moved to a new area that doesn’t realistically allow you to go back to your old piercer. If you have had piercings done before, you should probably already to know what to look for but just in case you don’t, this guide is for you.
Well, the best place to start when looking for a piercer is ask people you know. They will most likely have some suggestions based on their experiences. This isn’t a “Oh ok, you say they are good so I will get a piercing there.” Recommendations are just a good place to start. You will want to look into that piercer more.
Check the Association of Professional Piercers. There are great piercers outside the APP but if you have no clue where to start and don’t have any recommendations this is a great place to start. They have a directory of Piercers and Piercing studios that are members of the APP. And since they must follow strict guidelines in order to be a member of the APP, you know that you are getting a piercing in the proper environment. But again, you need to do further research before you decide on the piercer.
Check out local tattoo shops. They often do piercings and if you have no idea otherwise where to find a piercer check here. If they don’t do piercings, they know people who do.
Talk with a possible piercer. This is mainly to make the overall experience better. If you feel comfortable around the piercer and get along with them good then the overall process is just going to be better for you.
Examine the studio. It should appear clean and neat. If not, that should give you an indication on what the rest of the process is going to be like.
Ask to see a portfolio. A piercer, like a tattoo artist, will most likely have a portfolio of some of the work they have done in the past. This will give you an idea on if their work is quality by the placement, healing factors, etc. Just be careful, less reputable artists may have fake portfolio pics.
Ask how they sterilize their jewelry. Nearly all piercers should say they autoclave their jewelry. In that case, ask to see the autoclave. Also ask to see a spore test. A spore test is done on autoclaves to make sure they are in fact sterilizing. Some piercers may outsource their sterilizing. In this scenario, I would ask who they have sterilize their items or ask if they can get a spore test result from their sterilizer. Sterilization is such an important aspect of the piercing process that even if you slightly suspect foul play you should avoid the piercer.
Most piercers will prep in front of you. This will ensure that you know they are taking proper steps before doing the piercing. They should wash their hands and then put gloves on. All instruments should be in their individual sterilized pouches before use. If you don’t see them taking out the items from the pouches in front of you, assume they are not sterilized.
Make sure they have aftercare guidelines. Most shops will offer this in written format. It is absolutely crucial to know these as they will tell you healing times and what you should be doing and not doing during the healing process. If they don’t have them for you, they don’t care about what happens to you after. Not someone you want a piercing from.
Find out what their ethics are. How do they handle piercings in regards to ages? Do they make sure to have legal guardian consent for those under age? Will they do a nipple or genital piercing on someone under age? Do they have a no drunk policy?