Your guide to piercings and how old you have to be to get one…
How Old Do I Have To Be To Get Pierced?
There’s no legal age requirement for body piercing in England and Wales unless it’s a genital piercing (this includes nipples). You must be 16 to have a genital piercing.
In Scotland, if you are under 16, you must have a parent’s permission for any kind of piercing.
Before You Get Pierced
There’s lots to consider before getting a piercing. Remember, while a piercing can be removed and the hole will eventually heal over, you are most likely to be left with a small scar. This is especially true for more extreme piercings where body parts like the ear lobe are stretched.
Take time to research the piercing you want and ask for advice from others who have the same piercing. Some piercings can be uncomfortable and take a while to heal – how will this fit into your life? It’s important to also consider the implications your piercing will have on your school or work life. Does your school allow piercings? Will your employer be happy for you to have a noticeable piercing? If so, you might want to reconsider which area you want to get pierced and choose somewhere more subtle.
Talk to a parent about what you want. Be prepared for them to have some reservations or even asking you to reconsider. It can help to discuss the procedure and to reassure them that you will be using a reputable piercer. Or you could reach a compromise of getting a different area pierced or waiting a couple of years.
Choosing A Piercer
It’s really important to find a reputable piercer. A good piercer will have examples of their previous work, a clean, hygienic studio, certifications and an aftercare plan. It’s a good idea to visit the shop before an appointment to check that it’s clean and tidy. You can also ask questions about the jewellery they use to make sure the quality is suitable for piercings. Cheap jewellery is more likely to cause infections.
Ask around for recommendations or search online to read reviews of your chosen piercer. You’ll be able to tell a lot about their standards from customer reviews.
It’s very important to follow the piercer’s after-care instructions to keep your piercing clean and to make sure it heals properly. Remember, some piercings can take several months to heal fully. Piercings can become infected so it’s crucial to follow your piercer’s advice. Your aftercare advice may also include revisiting your piercer after a few weeks to change the jewellery for a different size – it’s important to keep this appointment to give your piercing the best chance at healing. Thinking about getting a tattoo? Click here for more advice.