Some important questions

Before you get your body piercing or tattoo, you need to think about the following:

  • Do you have a medical condition that could be complicated or made worse through piercing or tattooing? Piercing or tattooing can cause some existing infections or skin conditions to become more severe.
  • Will it affect your chances of getting employed? Of course, this depends on exactly where you want to get pierced or tattooed and employers' policies. Remember, your employment interests may change over time and what is acceptable to your current employer may not be acceptable to future employers.
  • How will your parents react? If your piercing or tattoo will seriously strain your relationship with them, you might want to think twice. Your motivation for getting body art may change.

Where to go

When choosing a studio, keep these points in mind:

  • Don't let people or friends who work outside of registered and established business premises do your body art.
  • Cheap is not always good: compare prices – you will need to pay good money for good quality work.
  • Find a studio where you feel comfortable, and where staff answer all your questions.
  • Select a studio that has 'aftercare' service which includes follow-up visits to check the work and get help for any problems.
  • When choosing a body artist don't go by the art on the walls. Ask to see examples of the body artist's personal work – if they can't show you, find another body artist.
  • Studios in WA need to be registered with and approved by local government to ensure they meet standard for premises and infection control. You can check whether a studio is registered by contacting the local government's Environmental Health Officer.

What to consider

Before getting anything done, consider these:

  • Be as healthy as possible before getting a tattoo or piercing. If you are unwell it will slow down healing and you'll have more risk of getting a local infection.
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs for at least 24 hours before a procedure as they may affect your decision making. Alcohol in your bloodstream also tends to increase bleeding during a procedure.
  • If you are considering multiple piercings or tattoos, start with a small one in a discreet place to see how you manage the procedure and its care.
  • If you have allergies and want a tattoo, ask if the studio will do a patch test with the dyes before you have the full procedure.
  • If you aren't sure about the design or where to place the tattoo, ask the studio if they can apply a stencil of the design for you to 'wear' before you have the full procedure.
  • If you want to use your own jewellery for piercing, take it to the studio the day before to be checked and sterilised. Remember, jewellery you buy from places other than body piercing studios may not be of suitable quality or size. Discuss jewellery selection with your body artist.

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