Body Piercing – Infection Prevention and Control Practices
What Do I Need to Do Before I Start Piercing?
- Record the client’s name, address, telephone number, date and type of procedure, and the name of the person giving the piercing. Keep client records and accidental exposures on site for at least one year and on file for at least five years.
- Clean and disinfect headrests, worktables and chairs between clients. Use a low-level disinfectant
- Inspect the area of the skin that will be pierced for redness, swelling or a rash. Avoid piercing within 6 inches of skin that is red, swollen, infected or with a rash.
- Clean your hands before putting on single-use disposable gloves and after removing gloves.
- Put on a new pair of single-use disposable gloves for each client.
- Dispense any creams, lotions and ointments in a manner that prevents contamination – use a pump or disposable stick.
- Before marking the skin, clean the area with an approved antiseptic such as 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Use a disposable swab. Once you have marked the skin, wait one minute for the ink to dry, and then cleanse the site again just before piercing. Use the approved skin antiseptic.
What Do I Need to Know About the Equipment Used for Piercing?
- Needles and dermal punch (biopsy) tools must be removed from their packaging in view of the client and discarded into an approved sharps container. Sharps containers cannot be discarded with regular garbage.
- Jewellery must be pre-packaged and sterile. If it is not purchased pre-packaged and sterile, the jewellery must be cleaned and then sterilized before being used.
- Forceps, pliers, scissors and needle pushers must be cleaned and sterilized between clients.
- Instruments that cannot be cleaned immediately after use must be soaked in water, or water and detergent, in a container labelled “dirty instruments”.
What Should I Do If My Autoclave Fails a Spore Test?
- Do not use any equipment from the failed load and any items sterilized after the last passed spore test.
- You can use any equipment sterilized during the time when the autoclave passed the spore test or use purchased, pre-packaged, sterile items.
- Report the failed spore test to Toronto Public Health.
What Should I Do If My Heat Indicator Does Not Change Colour?
- Reprocess those same items immediately using an indicator. If the indicator fails again, stop using any equipment from the failed indicator tests and conduct a spore test right away.
- Use equipment reprocessed from the last passed spore test or use purchased, pre-packaged, sterile items until you get the spore test results.
Do I Need to Give Aftercare Instructions?
- Yes. Every client should be told and receive written information on how to care for their skin after the piercing and what they should do if their skin becomes red, swollen or uncomfortable.