In addition to General and Operational Requirements

Check with the Perth District Health Unit before purchasing new piercing instruments.

Before the Service:

  • Ear piercing instruments shall not be used on any other part of the body except the fleshy part of the ear lobe.
  • 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.


  • Ear piercing instruments without sterile, single-use disposable adapters or cartridges that come in direct contact with the ear during the procedure must be cleaned and sterilized between each client.
  • All jewellery used for ear piercing must be pre-packaged sterile. Jewellery cannot be sampled or returned. Jewellery must remain sterile until use. Do not spray any sterile item with disinfectant.
  • Ear piercing instruments that use sterile adapters or cartridges must be cleaned and then disinfected (intermediate to high level depending on use) between clients. These instruments must be loaded without touching sterile jewellery or sterile devices on the gun.
  • The cleaned and disinfected piercing instrument and all sterile packages must be stored in a sanitary manner.
  • Equipment and instruments that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected between clients are single-use such as plastic adapters, toothpicks, and cotton.
  • 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.

  • After each client, all disposable parts must be discarded. Any open packages are no longer sterile and must be discarded. Any open packages of previously sterile items stored with sterile packages may be seized during inspection.


  • Provide an approved sterilizer or pre-packaged, 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