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Some of you may be wondering why I would paint a squirrel dissection. The answer is that I was studying what organs look like without being preserved in chemicals. Maybe I’ll be making veterinary illustrations for wildlife in the future. Who knows! This was good practice. 

(via scientificillustration)

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Anonymous asked: Hi, Ryan! Could you please elaborate on the reasons behind not using sterile gloves for the piercing procedure? Thank you.


Firstly, its important to clarify I’m not saying sterile gloves shouldn’t be used, what I’m saying is that they are not mandatory. Not by APP standards, not by most health department standards, or even medical standards. If anyone wants to use sterile gloves they should go for it. Very few regions/cities/states actually require sterile gloves, so using them is optional. 

Body piercing is minimally invasive. Compare body piercing to similar medical procedures; injections, suturing, wound care. All performed with non-sterile exam gloves. Dental surgery, non-sterile gloves. There is nothing wrong with using sterile gloves, but they do not make a significant impact on healing or safety in the body piercing industry in my personal opinion. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve used sterile gloves for months at a time, I use them when I do guest spots in some studios. I see absolutely no difference in the healing of any of my piercings. Again, nothing wrong with sterile gloves, but you can’t tell me piercers who use non-sterile gloves are irresponsible. You’d be telling 90% of the industry they are hacks, including many of the industry’s top piercers. They’re not causing infections, they’re not working dirty. Its not the same thing as using a non sterile needle. I certainly hope you’re not about to imply that I’m not working safely. 

Look at tattooing, there are essentially zero tattoo artists using sterile gloves. No problems there. The fact is that sterile gloves give people this weird sense of invincibility or superiority. Again, I teach classes on aseptic technique. We go over working with sterile, and non-sterile gloves. You would be shocked how many people are already using sterile gloves incorrectly. Its difficult to fully express through something as shortened as a text response, but if you do anything out of sequence or make any mistake the gloves are no longer “sterile” they’re just regular old gloves that cost five times more. Its much safer to use non-sterile gloves correctly, than to use sterile gloves incorrectly. 

I”m totally open to using them, but I do not personally see them as necessary to perform a safe body piercing. I would certainly hope that any body piercer who chooses to use sterile gloves also makes the effort to be trained in how to properly use them.