Body piercing and tattooing

The practice of skin penetration for decorative, health or cosmetic purposes has existed in various forms throughout history. Skin penetration involves any process, whether intentionally or otherwise, that involves the shaving, piercing, cutting, puncturing, and/or tearing of the skin or mucous membrane. Such practices may include body piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, colonic irrigation, electrolysis, lancing, waxing and nail manicures and pedicures.

Skin penetration is an invasive procedure with potential health risks. If correct precautions are not taken, blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and a range of bacterial infections can be transmitted to operators or clients through contaminated equipment or unhygienic premises and procedures.

Environmental Health Officers from the council assess all skin penetration premises on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the South Australian Public Health Act, 2011 and to ensure that they are operated safely and hygienically.

School programs

We also offer the Healthy Body Art Education Program to primary schools within the region. The hour long interactive classroom session is suitable for up to 30 students and their teacher and includes information on body piercing, the risks involved and how to choose an ‘ideal’ piercing salon.

New skin penetration premises

All new or proposed skin penetration premises should contact the environmental health team on 8384 0666 to ensure compliance with the South Australian Public Health Act, 2011.

Further information

To find out more about the Healthy Body Art school education program or skin penetration premises, please click on the links below or contact the environmental health team on (08) 8384 0628.

Safe Practices for Tattooing and Body Piercing SA Health
Guidelines on the Safe and Hygienic Practice of Skin Penetration
Know the Risks booklet