North East body piercing professionals comment on Wales’ ban on intimate piercings for under 18s

A North-East body-piercer has branded a new law regulating piercing as ‘silly’.

Today, Wales became the first country in the UK to introduce a nationwide ban on intimate piercings such as nipple piercings and tongue piercings for under 18s.

The ban came into force amid concerns that these types of piercings can cause medical complications.

Young people are said to be less likely to know how to properly maintain an intimate piercing, leading to a higher risk of infection.

Gemma Rowley, Professional Body Piercer at Gemz Ltd, South Shields said: “I totally understand why they have to be 16, but the new law – if it’s based on the opinion that if they’re under 18 they won’t look after them – then surely that should apply that to all piercings. The logic doesn’t fit.

“Many laws in piercing need changing for hygiene etc., but this is a silly one!”

The Welsh Government referred to a study in England that found that a third of all people aged 16-to-24 with body piercings experienced complications.

Stacie O’Brien, Studios Piercer at Triplesix Studios in Sunderland, said: “I personally do not agree with any under 18s getting intimate piercings, that has always been my policy. I know lots of piercers who have the same views as me!

“Not for the reason that I feel they aren’t capable to look after it, but I feel that it is inappropriate due to the sexual connotations attached to genital piercings.”

The Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 bans piercing on 10 specific intimate body areas, including genital areas, buttocks, nipples and tongues.

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