Body piercing (except ear and nose)



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Personal appearance services (PAS)

Body piercing (except ear and nose)

Fact sheet for operators




This fact sheet is designed as a guidance tool only to provide body piercers with relevant health information regarding the hygienic provision of body piercing. For more detailed information, see the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003, Queensland Development Code - Mandatory Part - MP 5.2 – Higher Risk Personal Appearance Services and the Infection Control Guidelines for Personal Appearance Services 2004.


  1. Introduction

Body piercing can be carried out on a number of locations around the body. This fact sheet relates to all body piercing, except ear and nose. Body piercers must follow correct hygiene practices to prevent bacterial, fungal and viral infections including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. They also must have accredited infection control qualifications and ensure that their premises are licensed with Council.




  1. Premises

The premises must be constructed in compliance with the Queensland Development Code - Mandatory Part - MP 5.2 – Higher Risk Personal Appearance Services. The premises also must be licensed with Council under the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003.


Structural items required for all body piercing salons include:




  1. Personal hygiene

Hand washing is the most important measure in preventing the spread of infection.


Body piercers must wash their hands:

Operators must not smoke while attending to a customer.


Body piercers must cover all cuts and abrasions, on exposed parts of their bodies, with adhesive water-resistant dressings.
Body piercers must wear clean clothing when attending to clients and wear closed puncture-resistant footwear.


  1. Equipment




  • All equipment must be cleaned between uses.

  • Equipment used to penetrate the skin must be sterilised before it is used.

  • Records of sterilisation must be kept on the premises.

  • Single-use equipment is recommended to reduce the likelihood of infection transmission.

  • Single-use equipment must be disposed of immediately after use in an approved sharps container.




  1. Procedures




  • Body piercers must have an approved infection control qualification before performing any form of body piercing.

  • The skin area around the body piercing site must be cleaned with a skin antiseptic.

  • All equipment used to penetrate the skin must be sterilised.

  • Sterile packaging must be opened just before piercing is to be performed.

  • Only sterile jewellery is to be inserted into the opening. Check that the jewellery material can be sterilised, eg surgical grade stainless steel, niobium, solid 14K or 18K white or yellow gold, titanium, platinum.

  • Only handle sterile jewellery with sterile gloves.




  1. Post-treatment




  • Dispose of single-use gloves.

  • Clean all equipment after treatment.

  • Dispose of single-use sharp equipment in approved sharps bins.

  • Sterilise re-usable equipment in accordance with Infection Control Guidelines for Personal Appearance Services 2004.

  • Record all details of sterilisation.

It is vital that body piercers provide clients with information on post-treatment care to avoid infection. This includes:



  • cleaning of site and jewellery

  • infections and what to look for

  • general care instructions

  • healing times.




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