I want to get my eyebrow pierced and was wondering: Why can't I do it myself or have a friend do it? – Anne*
Whenever part of the body is pierced, there's a risk of infection, prolonged bleeding, scarring, tetanus, and sometimes even nerve damage. These risks are especially high if the piercing is done using amateur equipment, if the equipment isn't cleaned properly, or if the person performing the piercing doesn't know what he or she is doing.
Because of the risks, many U.S. states require piercing locations to be licensed and monitored for safety. People who are licensed to do piercings know:
how to keep everything clean (which requires a special piece of equipment called an autoclave)
the kind of needle to use
what type of jewelry to insert
what instructions to give you so that you can keep your piercing healthy and clean