I enjoy high quality body modification. Martial arts since 1993. Family, friends, music, movies, and pugs.
Because just saying a piercing costs $X doesn’t fully explain what you get for your money. Let’s break it down.
- Has a medical grade autoclave that cost thousands of dollars. And they pay hundreds of dollars to have it tested and monitored to make sure it works correctly.
- Attends training conferences and/or completed a quality apprenticeship to be sure you are getting pierced safely. Understands anatomy, cross contamination, sterilization, aftercare, and troubleshooting.
- Uses only high quality jewelry to be sure you won’t have an allergic reaction to cheap materials. Takes the time to explain your options and gets you the best possible fit for your anatomy and lifestyle.
- Performs your piercing with a quality technique to be sure you have a healthy and happy piercing. Understands the theories behind the piercing you selected, and knows how to explain the aftercare best suited for it.
- Charges $75 for their services
- Bought 100 belly barbells out of the back of a magazine. Not sure what its made of or who made it, but hey its cheap.
- Totally “certified”, not sure by who. Can’t verify any training, you don’t see any training certificates anywhere. Asked how long they’ve been piercing and they said “years”. A tattooer friend showed them everything they need to know.
- Didn’t tell you how to clean it, but that’s ok. You already have peroxide at home. When you called with a problem they told you its probably just infected, and to just put some ointment on it.
- The clamps hurt pretty bad, and it bled a lot. Its pretty straight though, if you look at it just the right way.
- Only charges $30!! What a deal!
See where I’m getting at? When you ask someone how much a piercing costs online you’re not comparing something static like the same shoe at different stores. I don’t like to answer price questions online because its part of a greater conversation. So how about instead of asking how much something costs, you ask what you get for your money.
Firstly, its important to clarify I’m not saying sterile gloves shouldn’t be used, what I’m saying is that they are not mandatory. Not by APP standards, not by most health department standards, or even medical standards. If anyone wants to use sterile gloves they should go for it. Very few regions/cities/states actually require sterile gloves, so using them is optional.
Body piercing is minimally invasive. Compare body piercing to similar medical procedures; injections, suturing, wound care. All performed with non-sterile exam gloves. Dental surgery, non-sterile gloves. There is nothing wrong with using sterile gloves, but they do not make a significant impact on healing or safety in the body piercing industry in my personal opinion. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve used sterile gloves for months at a time, I use them when I do guest spots in some studios. I see absolutely no difference in the healing of any of my piercings. Again, nothing wrong with sterile gloves, but you can’t tell me piercers who use non-sterile gloves are irresponsible. You’d be telling 90% of the industry they are hacks, including many of the industry’s top piercers. They’re not causing infections, they’re not working dirty. Its not the same thing as using a non sterile needle. I certainly hope you’re not about to imply that I’m not working safely.
Look at tattooing, there are essentially zero tattoo artists using sterile gloves. No problems there. The fact is that sterile gloves give people this weird sense or invincibility or superiority. Again, I teach classes on aseptic technique. We go over working with sterile, and non-sterile gloves. You would be shocked how many people are already using sterile gloves incorrectly. Its difficult to fully express through something as shortened as a text response, but if you do anything out of sequence or make any mistake the gloves are no longer “sterile” they’re just regular old gloves that cost five times more. Its much safer to use non-sterile gloves correctly, than to use sterile gloves incorrectly.
I”m totally open to using them, but I do not personally see them as necessary to perform a safe body piercing. I would certainly hope that any body piercer who chooses to use sterile gloves also makes the effort to be trained in how to properly use them.