Piercings FAQ

No appointment is necessary; we do a first come first served walk in basis.
Give yourself a half hour for the piercing. In this time we will have you fill out the appropriate form, explain the piercing aftercare to you, discuss your jewelry options an answer ant other question you may have.

There are a lot of people out there calling themselves “Professional Body Piercers” and cashing in on the popularity of body piercing, and frankly making a mess of things. Do Not let your desire to be pierced prevent you from doing careful research and making a mistake.

Be sure to find out where and when they got their training, ask to see there blood borne pathogens, CPR and, First Aid certificates and how much experience they have.
Ask to see their portfolio of their work. 
 
Ask to see their autoclave and spore test records.
It is also important that piercings are done in a specific area designated exclusively for piercing and nothing else like:  tattooing, hair cutting, motorcycle building, etc.

To receive a piercing at Blue Star Tattoos Inc. you must be at least 18 years old. We do offer some piercing services to minors, when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Please see the Minors section for more detailed information.

Identification Requirements for body piercing, you must present one of the following VALID (not expired) forms of identification:
 
                State-issued driver's license or state-issued identification card*
                Resident alien card
                Military identification card
                Passport
 
* If your driver's license or state-ID is expired, you MUST bring the renewal papers with you as well.

Piercing Minors

We offer a wide variety of piercing services to minors. The policies we've established regarding minors are designed to protect minors, their parents and our studio. We strongly encourage minors and their parents to stop into the studio and speak with one of our piercers. This will allow us to go over all details of the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
 
We do not do any piercings’ on anyone under the age of 14.
 
We do not do the following piercings’ on anyone under the age of 18:
 
       Nipple
       Genital
       Surface
       Earlobes larger than 10 gauge
 
Without exception, a parent or legal guardian must be present with the minor to sign the release form. Each party must have a valid photo ID*. If the parent’s last name is different from the minor’s there must be legal documentation to prove the relationship (Birth Certificate, Divorce papers, Adoption papers, Marriage Certificate, Change of names forms).
 
Court papers are required to prove a relationship with a legal guardian we need the ID every time you need any procedure performed, even if you have shown it on a prior occasion.
 
If you are a legally emancipated minor, we can pierce you. You need to bring court papers along with a valid photo ID*.
 
We require that all piercees be drug and alcohol free, and request that they have eaten a meal at least four (4) hours prior to a piercing.
 
Stepparents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or friends CANNOT sign for minors without legal guardianship documentation!! Nuff! Said
 
Part of the reason you want to get pierced at Blue Star Tattoos Inc. (In addition to the fact that we are APP Members, quick, gentle, safe, and highly experienced), is that we care about doing everything the right way.
 
* A valid photo ID is a driver’s License, Passport, State-Issued Identification Card or Military ID. A valid school photo ID, School yearbook and birth Certificate with State Seal is acceptable for minors younger than driving age.
We reserve the right to refuse piercing services to anyone at any time.

You will need a valid ID before any piercing takes place. 

 
Make sure you have eaten something within the previous 2-3 hours before your piercing to avoid getting dizzy or fainting. Also drink plenty of fluids before hand. 
 
Allow plenty of time for the piercing procedure. Don’t set a time limit. 
 
Where comfortable clothing that can be easily adjusted or removed if necessary.
 
Do not consume any medications that will cause your blood to thin or consume alcohol before your appointment. 

This is the most asked question. And the hardest to answer. Everyone has a different pain threshold so what may hurt one person may not hurt the other. Most people describe this feeling as a "quick pinch" or more of a "hot sensation". Most piercings are done quickly and it's over before you even get a chance to think about it. We do everything we can to make the experience as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

A properly performed piercing by a knowledgeable, professional body piercer hurts far less than one might think. To use an anesthetics can cause damage to the skin.  Anesthetics can be deadly in the hands of someone who does not know how to use them, so we leave that to the licensed medical professionals.

Many of us have been told when we got our ear pierced at the mall, to keep spinning the jewelry during the healing stage. The reason for doing this was to prevent the jewelry (cheap ear studs) from adhering to our bodies and to create scar tissue.

Rotating the jewelry IS NOT recommended in the body piercing industries as the jewelry most commonly used for body piercings do not grow to our skin. Constantly spinning your jewelry during the day will irritate it more and more and tear skin cells that are trying to heal. By touching and spinning your jewelry you may also be at risk of bringing crusties, dirt, and germs into the fresh piercing. 
Leave the jewelry alone during the healing stage of your piercing.

I have been asked many times by bikers to pierce their dogs the answer is the same.

When the dog can tell me he wants the piercing, I’ll be glad to do it, but if not Fuck Off!
That’s animal cruelty Dickhead! ‘Nuff said about that.

Unfortunately not, our insurance only covers us down to the age of 14.

I would also strongly suggest against getting your child's ears pierced with a gun instead. 
Please read the question below to find out why it's worth the wait for your child's safety.

Our studio is strongly against using a piercing gun for ANY piercing.
 
They where originally made to tag cattle ears.

Piercing guns cannot properly be sterilized and therefore they shouldn't be used at all. Not being able to properly sterilize the piercing gun instrument leaves you open to possible infections and also the risks of passing blood borne pathogens such as Hepatitis and MRSA. 

The stud that pierces you is a dull blunt piece of jewelry made from the cheapest metal, being forced into your ear causing a lot of unnecessary trauma, pain, and discomfort. 
 
Using a single use sterilized piercing needle is much safer and a lot less painful. Would you rather be pierced with a dull object or a super sharp one?  
Many clients have mentioned that their piercings have never properly healed if it was pierced with a gun. This is caused by the damage done to the surrounding tissue during the piercing.
 
Learn more about piercing guns CLICK HERE.
Our Piercing department uses a revolutionary sterilization process that is relatively new to the body piercing industry. The equipment used for sterilization is called a StatIMClave.  This state-of-the-art unit houses individual cassettes that will contain all items coming into contact with your body (needle, jewelry, forceps, etc.). The process doesn't require the use of pouches and allows your piercer to maintain "point of process" sterilization.
 
After you have made your jewelry selection, your cassette is assembled with everything needed for your piercing and then placed within the sterilizer. Once the sterilization cycle is complete, you will witness its opening.
Along with the piercing supplies, the cassette contains an individual sterilization monitor strip. This strip lets you and your piercer know that the items to be used have been properly sterilized.
Also the StatIM is spore tested weekly to ensure that the sterilizing process is successful at all times.

All employees of Blue Star Tattoos Inc. are trained in Universal Precautions as to protect both themselves, and their clientele, from the spread of disease. 

Spore testing (biological sterilizer monitoring) works on the scientific theory that if the sterilization equipment kills the viable non-pathogenic microorganisms contained on each test strip. Then it is capable of killing the weaker, yet dangerous blood borne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B (HBV), that may be present on the instrumentation being sterilized. The spores used, Geobacillus, stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus, are harmless to humans, however they are difficult to kill via sterilization.

These biological indicators serve as the industry standard determinant of sterilization equipment and procedural ability to achieve complete efficacy.

The independent lab that Blue Star Tattoos Inc. uses for spore testing is North Bay Bioscience, LLC.
 
We surpass the Contra Costa County health board standards and we will continue to uphold the highest guidelines in the industry. Our sterilization area is visible to our clients so you can learn about the sterilization process from beginning to end.
 
In general, if a piercer is unwilling to show you these items, or states that they are unnecessary, it is in your best interest not to be pierced by this person.

•Use disposable gloves for all piercings. These gloves are changed frequently throughout the procedure to avoid contamination of the client and surfaces in the piercing room.

• Needles are autoclave-sterilized before they are used. Needles are disposed of, in front of the client, immediately after the piercing is performed. Needles are never used more than once.
 
•Any implements that are not disposable, such as forceps or receiving tubes, are cleaned, disinfected and autoclave-sterilized prior to use on anyone.
 
•All jewelry is cleaned, individually packaged and autoclave-sterilized before insertion into any new piercing. Jewelry that cannot be sterilized (i.e. acrylic, bone, wood) is never inserted into a new piercing, and is thoroughly disinfected before being inserted into a healed piercing.
 
•Never use ear-piercing guns; not even for earlobe piercings. Guns typically cannot be adequately sterilized.

This varies from person-to-person and from piercing-to-piercing. 

Our staff will discuss this with you at the time of your piercing. It will also be written down on your aftercare brochure.

This is a big fat NO! 

The reason we are here is to do the procedure for you. Leave it to the professionals and you'll more than likely get a much better and safer result.

While on vacation we usually tend to neglect and forget about our new piercing that needs our attention. You need stay out of pools, hot tubs, lakes, and the ocean in the beginning stages of healing your piercing. Just wait till you get back from vacation and you'll probably enjoy your vacation a lot more!

We recommend against bringing your toddler with you for your piercing. We cannot properly watch them while you are getting work done, so we reserve the right to refuse piercing services to anyone at any time. Please arrange for babysitting prior to your appointment. 

NO PETS whatsoever it’s against the law in CA.

We do allow friends and family in the room with you for moral support. 

The space is very limited. At maximum two guests per client can come into the piercing room, however the piercer reserves the right to remove anyone from the piercing room at any time. 
 
Children are not permitted in the piercing room. 
 
All we ask is that your friends remain calm and quiet as the piercing is being done; it takes a lot a concentration and skill. 
Please turn off all cell phones, as they can be a distraction during the piercing process.

Many piercings may seem healed but sometimes this isn't the case. 

You may stop by our studio anytime to get the advice from the piercer. 
 
We can also assist you if you need any jewelry changed as well.

It's possible but not very common.

The jewelry that we most commonly use for initial piercings is made of implant-grade stainless steel: 316LVM (ASTM F-138), which contains very minimum amounts of nickel. 
 
Some clients are allergic to nickel and can still wear quality body jewelry. 
 
There are other options as well such as Titanium, Niobium, and solid 18kt Gold just to name a few. 
 
Some way to tell if you might be allergic to nickel would be if a slight rash appears on your skin where the buttons on your pants or your belt buckle touches your skin. A rash from wearing a wristwatch or certain types of necklaces and earrings can also be a sign that you are sensitive to nickel. 
If you experience any of these issues please let your piercer know so they can discuss the best option for your piercing with you.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no single metal that every person can wear in their piercing. Individual biochemistry plays a large role in what metals the human body can and cannot tolerate. If you are pierced with the highest-grade metals, you can reduce your chances of a metal reaction so drastically that it is hardly a consideration.

We uses the following metals for initial piercings:allen f photo
 
•Implant-grade stainless steel: 316LVM (ASTM F-138)
 
•Implant-grade titanium: 6AI4V ELI (ASTM F-136)
 
•Niobium
 
•18kt SOLID gold
 
•Platinum
 
We also have mill certificates that state the origin of the metal and its molecular composition this helps us ensure that the metal is implant grade. If you would like to see mill certificates for jewelry please ask us.

  

The appropriate size jewelry varies from piercing-to-piercing, and person-to-person. Jewelry will have to be custom-fitted to your body to ensure proper healing.
 
Don't ever let anyone tell you that one size is standard for a particular piercing. A trained professional (not a sales clerk) will be able to tell you what is appropriate for your body.

We carry only the very best in the industry. We only use internally threaded jewelry in ASTM F-138 certified implant grade Stainless steel, ASTM F-136 certified implant grade Titanium, Niobium, 18k gold, White gold, Rose gold, Platinum from the best vendors in the body jewelry. Such as:

       ANATOMETAL®, for Stainless steel, Titanium, Niobium, 18k gold.
       NeoMetal Inc ® for threadless titanium body jewelry.
       Industrial Strength® for Stainless steel, Titanium jewelry.
       SM316® Stainless steel, Titanium, Niobium jewelry.
      BVLA Body Vision® for 18k Gold, Platinum.
       Maria Tasha® for custom gold navel and nostril jewelry.
       Clayton Limited ® custom gold jewelry.
      Maya® for bone, nut, shell, wood, obsidian, silver, copper, brass jewelry. 
       Reign® for custom plugs.
       Tawapa® for silver, gold, stone, shell, exotic woods horn, bone, Nephrite jade, Amber, Mastodon ivory jewelry .
       Little Seven® for stainless steel free from design jewelry.
       SAFE Products® for stone plugs and carved stone ear weights.
       Morton Manley® for Fossilized Walrus Ivory jewelry.
       Quetzalli® for gold filigree design jewelry.
       Abaraka® for carved stone weights, bone, horn, septum tusks.
      Relic® for custom stone plugs.
       Angry Gods® for ear weight, hoops.
       Buddha Jewelry® for Horn, bone wood, mother of Pearl, bronze, stone, glass.
       Diablo Organics® for mammoth Ivory, Warthog Ivory, wood, stone, amber, bamboo, water buffalo bone & horn.
       Glasswear Studio®, Gorilla Glass ®, Somatic Glass® for top of the line glass jewelry great and a cost effective way for stretching.
      KAOS softwear® for silicone plugs.
       Yaxche® Hardwood jewelry.
 
These are our main vendors and we work with many others, so come in and check out our large section of the very best body jewelry on the market today.

The best advice would be to visit your piercer immediately to help find a solution. In most cases piercings become irritated, not infected. An experienced piercer will be able to tell the difference between the two. 

Don't take out the jewelry if you believe you have an infection as it may trap the infection under your skin and it won't be able to drain. Also do not seek advice from your friends! Just because they have a few piercings do not make them experts in this field.
 
Your piercer can usually help find a solution to the problem and get you back on the right track once again.

As piercing becomes more and more popular, there are a lot more studies being conducted into the proper healing of piercings. Back in the day we were always told to put alcohol or peroxide on everything. Now that's a thing of the past!
 

Now there are companies that specialize only in piercing aftercare, which has helped a great deal in our industry. Prior to your piercing, our piercer will discuss the proper methods of healing with you and also give you a written aftercare sheet for you take home. Most pharmacies have not yet started selling proper piercing aftercare products. Our studio carries a full line of piercing aftercare for your convenience.  

Using these products will usually cause longer healing times as they dry out the healing tissue surrounding the piercing. This can cause the fragile skin cells to crack and re-heal once again prolonging the healing process and causing scar tissue

Yes, but until your piercing is fully healed, the use of a waterproof patch (such as Tegaderm)is recommended. If you go into a hot tub, pool, ocean, lake, etc. it is advisable.
 
These patches allow oxygen through, so your piercing can breathe, but are impermeable to water and fluids. They work best for navel and nipple piercings and may be impractical for some piercings. If the piercing can't be covered, we suggest you stay out of the water until your piercing is healed. Use one patch per swim. These patches are not reusable. If you have a problem finding these patches, call us for information.
For a facial piercing, you can simply keep your head out of the water.
 

All bodies of water contain microorganisms, and pools and hot tubs are treated with harsh chemicals that can irritate your piercing When your piercing is healed, you can stop using the patches, just make sure to clean your piercing thoroughly when you get out of the water.

 

Your mom might be right.

This industry has grown rapidly. I've seen a lot more unqualified piercers doing a lot more damage rather than safe piercing trying to make a name for themselves. Piercing does take a lot of skill and training to ensure proper placement and size of the jewelry. Each piercing does involve risks but they are significantly reduced if proper aftercare methods are used. It is important to stay in touch with your piercer if you believe something is not right with your piercing.  

 It is not likely, but it depends on the quality of jewelry. If you have a large number of piercings in one small area of your body or if your jewelry is a thick gauge, it is possible. If this is a concern for you, you may wish to wear non-metallic jewelry in your piercings while you travel. 

None of the Implant-grade stainless steel: 316LVM (ASTM F-138), Implant-grade titanium: 6AI4V ELI (ASTM F-136), and Niobium jewelry sold at Blue Star Tattoos Inc. will set off a metal detectors.  These are low-ferrous metals and are not “seen” by metal detectors. 
Yes, we offer both male and female genital piercings.
 
Most people are extremely nervous about getting any genital piercings and rarely can find the answers they are looking for. I suggest making a private consultation with us prior to getting a genital piercing so we can answer all your questions. Often clients will bring a friend or partner to join them during these piercings to make it a more comfortable experience. You can also visit our studio and ask to view our genital piercing portfolio for some ideas. Call anytime for a piercing consultation. 
  
Piercings that are still healing must be protected from contamination during sexual activities. A good quality condom or dental dam is vital to protect your piercing from contact with other people's body fluids during healing. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, contact with body fluids will greatly increase the chance of infection.
 

After being pierced, you can have sex, depending on how the tenderness of the piercing affects your desire for sexual activity. Patience and creativity are important.  If it hurts, don’t do it. And remember to always use protection!  

Sorry, if you are a bargain hunter we are not your shop, there are many studios willing to drop their prices just to beat their competition because they do not carry the same quality of jewelry.
 
We stand firm on our prices offering you the very best quality service, sterilization, techniques, knowledge and overall safety money can buy. Can you really put a price on your health and well being?
 
Come in for a tour and we'll personally show you the multiple steps that we take in order to provide you the best service in the industry. Sometimes studios may skip multiple steps of sterilization and slack on cleanliness in order to bring you a cheaper price. This usually results in a negative piercing experience and would require immediate attention from a more qualified piercer.
 

Remember that cheaper is not always better!

We take every precaution to provide our clients with a safe, hygienic piercing environment. Unfortunately, as the popularity of piercing has increased, so have the number of unqualified individuals performing piercing. Many of these individuals are far more interested in making a quick buck than protecting your health. In order to increase their profit, these individuals typically cut corners in the health and safety areas.

Cutting corners in these areas puts your health in danger. If someone is offering you a deal too good to be true, it probably is. Body piercing, when done correctly, under appropriate conditions, is a beautiful art. Body piercing done incorrectly, by an unqualified piercer "a hack", can result in infection, scars or the spread of infectious diseases and leave you permanently disfigure you for life.
 
We are very proud of the work we do. Follow-up questions, check-ups, and troubleshooting of problematic piercings are always available.  

We will not pierce you with externally or step down jewelry because of the complication of which are common with this type of poor quality jewelry.

Many pieces of jewelry that clients will bring in to us are made to be worn after the piercing is healed. 
 
Rarely, we are able to use your own personal jewelry for the initial piercing but it will require sterilization prior to the piercing.
 
Some jewelry cannot be sterilized or worn as your first piercing. 
 
Using hand-me-down jewelry from friends and family may contain small scratches or pits, which bacteria can grow in. I would suggest visiting us with your jewelry to get the best advice. If your jewelry requires sterilization there if a fee for this.

For most people, this does not cause problems, although you may want to clean your new piercing after your work out.

Always listen to your body. If something is not good for your piercing, your body will let you know.
 
Generally, if an activity is not causing you any discomfort, it is probably just fine.

There is no way to know for sure. If you have to take your piercing out for surgery or for your job interview you can visit us to find the best solution to the problem. We offer retainers that are less visible than jewelry and can keep the hole open during these times.

 No!

It is against the law in CA. 

Most women say that their navel jewelry becomes uncomfortable after the first six months of pregnancy. In most cases during pregnancy your skin will stretch causing your original piercing to become crooked or shallower than it previously was. Also some doctors may require you to take it out while you're in the hospital and you may have a difficult time inserting it once again.

It may be best to remove any piercing that are not well healed when you become pregnant. The changes that a woman's body undergoes during pregnancy can make it next to impossible for piercings to heal during this time.
 
If your piercing is well healed (a year or more), we suggest simply removing the jewelry once it becomes uncomfortable. A piercing that is a year-or-more old is unlikely to completely close during pregnancy. In most cases, the hole will shrink somewhat, and we can stretch the hole slightly to accommodate jewelry once again, after you have given birth.
 
The best thing to do when you get pregnant is to consult your piercer if you have questions about your piercing(s) during your pregnancy.
If it is important to you to have something in your piercing during your pregnancy, the piercer can discuss several options with you.

In our experience, a well-healed nipple piercing does not interfere with nursing a child. A piercing that is not healed, however, could be problematic. Jewelry should be removed when breast feeding to avoid injury to the piercing and for maximum comfort for both mother and child.

Beads, balls, rings and barbells are choking hazards for infants if they come loose accidentally. If you have a well healed piercing, the jewelry should be easy to remove and reinsert. Before removing the jewelry, remember to wash your hands with soap and water. If this is not always possible, carry disposable, germicidal, nontoxic hand wipes with you. Be sure to lay your jewelry on a clean surface, such as a disposable paper towel or plastic cup, and to clean your hands again before reinsertion.
 
You may find that a small amount of milk will come out of the piercing. This is normal and quite harmless.

There is no guarantee. 

I've seen 1 inch holes close yet I've seen 8 gauge holes stay open.
 
Remember stretching your ears, or any piercing, can result in a permanent change in your appearance. 
 
You should think long and hard about the long term affects and decide if this is right for you. Stop by and discuss with us the proper methods of stretching and ask for our stretching guide pamphlet, so you don't do any damage to your freshly stretched piercings.

To properly stretch your ears it takes a lot of time and patience. Stretching too fast may result in tearing leaving scar tissue. 

It is suggested to stretch slowly about one gauge every two to three months. 
 
Remember that there is no guarantee that your stretched piercings will ever return to their natural state. Most people are able to stretch to a 2g and have good results of closing if they want to remove them one day in the future. But again there is no way to know for sure if the hole will close up or not. Make sure you know what you're doing before you make a costly mistake!

Depending on the piercing and/or your anatomy we can pierce with either. 
Our piercers will help you figure out what the best option is for your piercing.

Definitely. Many people prefer the look of gold and we can order in many different styles for you. If you visit us we can measure the exact size you would need and we'll special order it for you it take about 3-4 weeks to get a custom order in.

Yes!

We offer jewelry changes to our clients for $6 - $10. 
We will show you the proper steps on how to change your jewelry without any discomfort.

This should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it's not. If you didn't know that tipping a piercing artist is customary, you do now! Piercing artists DO NOT get paid an hourly wage. They only earn a percentage of the money you pay for your piercing and that's it. They depend, heavily, on tips to support themselves. You wouldn't NOT tip a waiter unless the service was really bad, would you? It's second nature for you to tip a waiter, he in a service business just like your piercing artist.

Your piercing artist is marking you for life, something far more serious than a fancy meal, so hasn't he/she earned at least the recognition that a waitperson gets? If you receive exceptional service, show your appreciation by tipping. As a general rule, tipping 15% is a minimum, 15-20% is normal and anything more is considered tipping heavily. If you don't have the extra money to tip, at least explain that to your artist (they'll understand and appreciate it)- if you can, bring them a tip the next time you have a few extra dollars. Clients who are known to tip always get a little extra 'love' from their artist.

 Yes we do and it seems to be on everyone's wish list. Our gift certificates can be purchased in any denomination and are available at any time.  

No, they come out just a quickly as they went in.  Most untrained piercers say this because they do not know the proper way of install or de-install an anchor.

At this time we do not offer a program