Any business that is in the practice of creating an opening in a person's body, other than the individual's earlobe, to insert jewelry or another decoration has to be licensed with the Department of State Health Services. This also includes studios that perform implants. An artist may not perform body piercing on a person younger than 18 years of age without the consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian and meeting the requirements of 25 Texas Administrative Code, §229.406(d). This can be done by one of two methods:
- The minor brings a notarized consent to the studio that contains the name, address, and telphone number of both the minor and parent, managing conservator, or guardian; the location of the body that may be pierced; and signatures of both the minor and the parent, managing conservator, or guardian; or
- The adult is present at the studio during the piercing and signs statements swearing that they are the parent, managing conservator, or guardian; the adult has the authority to consent to the procedure; the adult has provided valid government issued identification of the minor and of themselves to the studio; and that the adult will remain at the studio while the procedure is performed. In this case, the adult must also present identification and evidence to the studio that they are the parent, managing conservator, or guardian. In both cases, the minor must provide a valid, government issued, positive identification card that contains a photograph and a date of birth.
Before a body piercing is performed, the skin is cleaned with a germicidal soap. The artist pierces the skin with a very sharp needle. In a single motion, the artist places the jewelry to be inserted behind the needle and as the needle passes through the skin, the jewelry follows. The needle is then disposed of in a sharps container and the artist adjusts the jewelry to the piercing. Only approved materials may be used for new piercings. These include surgical implant grade stainless steel (minimum of 316L or 316LVM), solid 14k or 18k gold, niobium, titanium (minimum of 6AL4V), or platinum, which is free of nicks, scratches, or irregular surfaces and has been properly sterilized before use.
With implants, the skin is prepared with a germicidal skin preparation before an opening is made. The skin is cut with a scalpel and the layers of skin near the opening are separated to accommodate the implant. The implant is inserted under the skin and the opening is held closed to heal. Implants must also be made of an approved material. The artist is required to provide you with verbal and written instructions on caring for your new body piercing.