Knowing if a body art technician (either tattoo artist or body piercer) is competent can be difficult to determine until after the piercing is done. However, there are a few things to watch for to insure that the body piercer you are entrusting is legit. The first question you should ask is if the piercer is registered and permitted by the local health department. If they are, they will have a health department permit posted in plain sight, along with a permit number you can jot down for verification. If your tattoo artist or piercer gives you the run-around, or says it isn’t with them, they are not registered and you should leave.
Even if your body artist has their health permit, it doesn’t always mean that it’s safe to relax. Look around the piercing area and ask yourself if it is clean. Also, all needles, tools and body jewelry should be sterile and in color-changing pouches ready to be used. If your piercer reaches into a display case and grabs a piece of loose body jewelry to use for your piercing, don’t walk – run out of there! Remember, a legit body artist will have the proper body piercing supplies and be willing to answer any questions you have. If they are not willing to answer your questions, or become defensive, something is not right and you should simply leave. It’s better to be safe (and infection free) than sorry.