Skin Piercing

What to be aware of when having a skin piercing treatment

Anyone who carries out skin piercing for financial gain and their premises where they operate need to be registered with the Council. This ensures that the skin piercing is carried out safely and under hygienic conditions.

Check a business

Please view ourpublic registers to check if a business is registered by Breckland Council. If you have concerns about illegal tattooists or piercers, pleasecontact us.

Please note, the term 'skin piercing' includes:

  • ​tattooing
  • semi-permanent skin colouring (for example, micro-blading)
  • cosmetic piercing (includes ear piercing and body piercing)
  • electrolysis
  • acupuncture

General Advice

A certificate of registration should be prominently displayed so customers can easily see that the premises have been registered by Breckland Council.

If you can't see the certificate of registration, please ask to be shown it before you go ahead with any treatment.

It's an offence for people to carry out these activities without registration. 

Visiting a registered premises is important because:

  • they operate in a safe and hygienic manner
  • they will be able to explain procedures and give advice
  • they should have insurance

Good to know

  • ​in the UK, you can't donate blood for 12 months after having a tattoo or piercing
  • it's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to be tattooed
  • if you're under the age of 16 you can't legally consent to certain piercings

Some people can be allergic to the pigments in tattoo or semi-permanent make up inks.  If you have sensitive skin, why not ask for a patch test.

We have no powers to do anything about the quality of art work in relation to a tattoo; if you're thinking of having a tattoo, do your homework.


  • a tattoo which costs you £10 can cost you hundreds to remove
  • there is an increased risk of infection if you go to someone who is unregistered

If your tattoo or piercing starts to become infected, go to your GP first, before complaining to the premises you visited, or us.

If you are looking to register your 'skin piercing' business, please refer to ourHow to Register/Make Amendments page.

View the Byelaws that apply to skin piercing activities.

Last updated: 19/08/2020 08:11:51