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Stop Touching Your Piercings!

When you walk through the doors at Rogue you will instantly see signs on our main desks, our mirrors and even in our jewellery display cabinets, all telling you not to touch, change or remove your jewellery. You may have noticed both our piercers and counter staff asking you to stop touching your piercings, or to sanitise your hands. We also ask that all jewellery brought into the studio is inside of a small bag or pouch and isn’t handled inside the studio with bare hands.

Image from Jef Saunders Blog courtesy of Dannielle Greenwood

Now you may think this is over bearing, or that we are on a power trip, or even that it might just be a weird obsession over cleanliness/hygiene, but we can assure you that it’s not! We do all of this to avoid the risk of any cross contamination in the studio. Hygiene at Rogue is one of our biggest focus points, and we have consistent measures in place to ensure that we are doing the best we can. From working with aseptic techniques during the piercing procedure, as well as having both daily and weekly cleaning tasks. Every member of the team at Rogue takes annual training in Bloodborne Pathogens (keep your eyes out for our certificates around the studio). This is so we can stay up to date with any changes in standards and protocols to keep both you and ourselves safe.

In the studio we have very careful procedures that we perform every single day to minimise any spread of cross contamination. We thoroughly clean and sterilise any tools and equipment at the end of each working day. We continuously wash and sanitise our hands while also donning and doffing PPE (wearing and disposing of Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves) appropriately. Any of our disposable work tools that may have touched anyone are also disposed of correctly, through sharps bins and dedicated waste disposal bags and services.

So, what is cross contamination?

The definition of cross contamination from Oxford Languages English Dictionaries is: The process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect.

Outside of piercing, most people think of cross contamination when it comes to food, especially raw chicken. For example, if you are cutting raw chicken you may end up with some of the raw juices on your fingers and hands, and once dried you may not know it’s there. The bacteria from the chicken can be spread across the kitchen on cutting boards, towels, and reusable wipes. If you don’t wash your hands and touch your mouth or nose or a small/large wound, you can become sick from the bacteria even if you don’t see it. This is because bacteria (such as salmonella) is easily transferable through open wounds and mucous membranes.

The same happens with body jewellery. At some point, the jewellery you have worn in your body has been in direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood. We as piercers have to assume that everyone’s blood, or any other bodily fluids that has been in contact with your jewellery, is contaminated with a bloodborne pathogen that has the potential to carry or spread viruses. The reason we do this is because, just like raw chicken juices, we cannot always see potential threats or dangers, and we’d rather be over-cautious and keep everyone’s health in tip-top shape.

Imagine the journey that bacteria might take across our studio. A client touches their grumpy piercing, and then touches the front desk or a display cabinet, or the arms of the sofa. This is then touched by the next client, who then touches their eye or mouth, or their own piercings! This bacteria can be transferred from one person to the next. Imagine not one client, but dozens per day! By not touching our piercings, washing our hands, and not allowing worn jewellery to touch any of the studio surfaces, then we break this chain of spread.

This is also part of the reason why we cannot reuse, refund or resell body jewellery that has left the studio. We have to assume that any body jewellery that has been purchased has been worn. We also recommend that you never buy and wear pre-used or pre-worn jewellery – You can read more about this in our ‘Sharing Jewellery’ blog. It is the equivalent of clothing stores having a no-returns policy on underwear. It is not safe to risk sharing fluids between clients.

As scary as it sounds, we’re just trying to show you that cross-contamination is super easy to avoid. So, all in all, please top touching your piercings and sharing body jewellery. It is unsafe and unsanitary! Practice regular safe hygiene processes, such as washing your hands and sanitising when and where needed.

Keep an eye on our blog as we post a new informational blog every single Friday! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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