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Body Piercing Infection Control

If you are employed as a body piercing technician, you must observe the following infection control precautions at all times:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with water and a germicidal soap approved by the department before and after each client's procedure.
  2. If you must shave a customer’s hair to do a piercing, either use disinfected scissors or a single-use disposable razor.  Clean skin with a DHEC-approved germicidal solution used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions.
  3. Always use single-use disposable gloves when setting up equipment and when performing procedures on a client. These gloves must never be washed or reused in any manner and must be immediately replaced upon notice of a tear, any contamination, or other defect.
  4. Properly sterilize by autoclave all needles, instruments and other surgical equipment, and body piercing items or jewelry. Sterilely package and label with the date of sterilization and a sterile indicator.
  5. Prior to any direct contact with the client, sterilely place all sterile instruments and body piercing items or jewelry on a sterile disposable towel or drape to be used as a single sterile field throughout the procedure. Before initiating the procedure, you re-glove with single-use sterile disposable surgical gloves. Perform the procedure using strict sterile surgical techniques. If there is any non-sterile contact or contamination of the instruments, jewelry, or field,  stop the procedure immediately and do not use the equipment until it is re-sterilized.
  6. Scrub the skin of the client in a sterile surgical manner with a germicidal solution approved by the department and used in accordance with the manufacturer's direction.
  7. Never use gauze, alum, styptic pencils, or medical supplies to control bleeding unless separate disposable single-use sterile items are used on each client.
  8. Dispose of single-use used needles and other disposable sharp supplies in puncture-proof safety containers as approved by DHEC. Dispose of these used sharps containers according to DHEC-approved procecdure.
  9. Before re-sterilizing by autoclave,  all used surgical equipment intended for reuse must be properly scrubbed clean of visible materials and soaked for a minimum of 20 minutes in a germicidal solution approved by DHEC and used in accordance with the manufacturer's direction.
  10. Your facility is required to keep a written log for 2 years of autoclave use, to include (but not be limited to) date and time of use and sterilization spore test strip results done at least monthly.
  11. You must allow and cooperate with onsite inspections by DHEC as deemed necessary by DHEC staff.
  12. Your body piercing facility must include a room for the purpose of disinfecting and sterilization of equipment. This room must be physically separate from the room used for body piercing procedures to avoid cross-contamination of equipment.