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Holiday Piercing Checklist – how to make the right decision

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A cool lip stud, bling belly button ring, subtle diamond nose piercing or an eyebrow barbell… being abroad can be the perfect setting for getting that piercing you’ve been dreaming of for years. It will make both your trip and the piercing more memorable, and when you’re relaxed, tanned and feel good about yourself, you don’t need to worry that you might end up regretting your decision because “you’re not a piercing type of person”. Being on a holiday is all about trusting your gut feeling and letting your instincts guide you. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep your head cool if your flights to Paphos, Las Vegas or India are inspiring you to make this thrilling decision. This piercing checklist will help you decide whether or not to have your face or body pierced.

- Medical conditions. If you are in doubt because you are taking medication, have heart disease or any other medical condition, talk to your GP about the risks before getting a piercing.

- Good reputation. It really doesn’t hurt to ask a local at the bar whether they know which piercing studio in the area is best.

- First impression. All the surfaces, even the floor, should be spotless. The studio should consist of a counter, waiting room, piercing room, bathroom and sterilization room. The piercing room should be a well-lit, non-smoking and pet-free area. If your first impression of the staff or studio isn’t positive, don’t feel pressured to go ahead with the procedure.

- Trustworthy piercer. It’s very important that you feel you can trust the person who is going to poke a hole in your face or body. When it comes to body modification, a language barrier really is a no-no. You have to be able to communicate clearly what you want. We recommend asking the piercer for how long (s)he has been in this profession, check whether (s)he is a certified and peruse the portfolio of the studio. The piercer should make a clean impression, and if (s)he has long hair, this should be tied back.

- Hygiene. The piercer has to wear new disposable surgical gloves for each customer, just like your dentist. The most important question to ask a potential piercer is whether you can see the autoclave (sterilizer) and spore tests. This is essential equipment for sterilizing piercing equipment.

- Equipment. Needles should never be reused. They should be in individual wrappers that are opened in your presence and discarded afterwards. You should never let a piercer use a needle that has been soaked in a liquid because so-called resterilization will almost certainly lead to infections. Ear piercing guns are not suitable for placing other piercings and allowing someone to use them on you is dangerous. Don’t put yourself at risk!

- Sterilized, appropriate jewellery. Make sure you’re not allergic to the metal. If you are having one ear pierced, make sure that the piercer will they take the earring from an unopened, presterilised pack. Don’t allow the piercer to use a loose earring left over from a pack of two.

- Before you allow any needles near you, ask the staff for advice on how to look after your piercing to avoid infection.

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