Age limits for piercings in the UK

Piercing the ears, mouth or nose to attach ornaments or jewelry is an ancient practice that is still present in most contemporary societies. This custom, which is associated with aesthetic factors. The transition from adolescence to maturity is also related to the ability to tolerate pain, so sometimes this transition was commemorated with the realization of piercings. but is there an age limit for getting a piercing in the UK? read on and we’ll tell you about it.

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The revival of certain decorative techniques, such as tattoos, made piercing popular among the punk movement in Europe in the 1970s, which adopted this practice as a means of provocation and to express its disagreement with society. Thus, the piercing was passed on to other groups, such as homosexuals or sadomasochists, and reached the upper echelons of fashion and cinematography.

In the last thirty years, the status of piercing has changed and those who wear them are no longer marginalized characters in society. In fact, the piercing and tattoo industry is one of the fastest growing.

The emergence of new decorative modalities, such as the implantation of objects under the skin to modify the surface and decorative burns or scars, augur a prosperous future for this type of practice.

 but what is the age limit in the UK to get a piercing?

For most piercings, there is no legal age to operate in most parts of the UK. This means that piercings in the ears, nose, lips, tongue or navel, for example, are legal, with no age restrictions. This is the general rule, but there are some notable exceptions that you should find out about before assuming your piercing will be legal: 

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  1. This February 1, 2018, a new law came into effect in Wales, UK, that prohibits piercings in intimate parts to minors under the age of 18 for health reasons.

The new provision tells piercing practitioners the areas where they cannot pierce minors, including the tongue, nipples and genital areas, indicating eight areas near genitals and buttocks.  the Welsh government argued that as children and young people’s bodies are still developing, piercings performed at a young age can result in complications as the body grows. In addition, the very young have less experience or knowledge of cleanliness and hygiene issues leading to an increased risk of infections. While opponents of the ban argued that the ban would lead to younger people seeking unregistered places to get piercings, leading to greater health risks. Despite this objection, the Welsh government has said that the ban will aim to protect the very young. 

  1. There is an important difference in Scotland in the law on ear piercing. If you are under the age of 16, you cannot give consent to get your ears pierced. This means that technically you cannot get your ears pierced unless your parents agree to it by law.

While cities such as London and others in Scotland have imposed such bans, Wales became the first country in the United Kingdom to ban intimate area piercing for minors nationwide.

The best thing to do if you want to get a piercing, is first to be at least 16 years old, at this age you already have a little more awareness about the acts; secondly seek information on skin care and piercing after performing it; and thirdly go to a reliable place and put yourself in the hands of professionals, that way there will be less chance of any infection or complication due to the piercing. 

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