In addition to General and Operational Requirements

Before the Service:

  • Inspect the skin. Do not pierce inflamed or infected skin or skin with a rash.
  • All supplies and equipment required for piercing are to be assembled and set up immediately prior to starting the procedure.
  • Approved sharps containers must be located in the area that the sharps item is used.

Remember: You do not have to see blood or body fluids on instruments for an infection to occur.


  • Single-use, disposable sterile needles must be used and discarded in an approved sharps container immediately after use.
  • Equipment and instruments that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected between clients are single-use and disposable (examples are dermal punch, closed ended receiving tubes, corks, elastics).
  • Some equipment such as ring opening and closing pliers, forceps, needle pushers, insertion tapers, connectors, open-ended receiving tubes, are required to be sterile prior to use.
  • All reusable equipment must be cleaned and then sterilized by an acceptable method.
  • All jewellery used for body piercing must be sterile. Any modified jewellery must be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, packaged and sterilized by an acceptable method.
  • All reusable equipment, such as calipers, service trays, beds, chairs, counter, containers, must be cleaned and then disinfected (low to high level depending on use) between clients.
  • Clean marking materials, such as iodine felt tip pen, iodine or gentian violet toothpick, must be used to mark piercing sites. Follow the marking procedure below:
    • Clean site to be pierced with approved skin antiseptic
    • Mark site
    • Let dry
    • Clean site again with approved skin antiseptic

Note: Other marking procedures may be considered. Review any other procedure with the Public Health Inspector for approval.


  • Provide an approved sterilizer or prepackaged, sterile items.
  • If pre-packaged, sterile items are provided, records of all information are required on-site for tracking purposes, such as proof of sterility, name of company that sterilizes the needles, lot numbers, invoices and receipts. Any sterile items without records may be seized by the Public Health Inspector at time of inspection.

After Care

Clients must be given verbal and written information regarding piercing aftercare such as:

  • Normal bathing and showering are permitted but otherwise keep pierced area dry
  • Clean hands immediately before touching jewellery
  • Turning jewellery when wound is not dry
  • Allow the wound access to air by using loose covering
  • Discuss the expected healing time of the wound
  • Describe possible complications and their signs and symptoms
  • Advice on how to deal with slight redness, pain or swelling
  • Recommend consultation with a family physician if the problem does not improve within 24 hours
  • Advise not to remove jewellery from potentially infected piercing and to contact piercer and seek medical advice.

Source: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings, January 2009

January 2013