About skin piercing

There are a number of activities that involve the use of needles to pierce the skin. The law states that these activities must be conducted in a manner that is safe and hygienic. We are responsible for registering such businesses, and inspecting them to ensure that they pose no risk to the public.

The Local Government (miscellaneous provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII requires the following types of skin piercing to be registered with the Council:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing (the piercing of someone’s body) including: ear/nose piercing & body piercing
  • electrolysis
  • semi-permanent skin colouring (the insertion of semi-permanent colouring into a person’s skin) including: microblading & all types of semi-permanent tattooing
  • micro-needling

Other new and emerging treatments such as Botox, fillers, PDA threads and mesotherapy are not covered by the byelaws so do not currently legally require a registration licence from us.

Please be aware you if you are carrying out any of the treatments not currently covered by the byelaws you are still legally responsible to ensure you are following all health and safety requirements plus any other laws that apply (for example the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021 that came into force on 1 October 2021 which makes it an offence to administer Botox or fillers on under 18s).

As a practitioner, you must make sure that you have adequate training in the procedures you wish to carry out and also suitable knowledge and extremely high standards of infection control. There are a number of courses available online if you search for "tattoo/piercing infection control course".

The principles of the CIEH Tattoo and Skin Piercing Toolkit and the byelaws should be followed for all invasive cosmetic treatments.

If you would like more in depth, bespoke advice in relation to these requirements, we now offer a paid for advisory service please take a look at the webpages or email us for more information.

Environmental health

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays)

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 08085 834333