Many companies offer tattoo and piercing supplies that they claim are ‘sterile’, but how do you really know they are sterile? Piercing needles are usually sterilized at the factory and are packaged in either plastic bubble containers, or in blue sterile pouches that feature a clear side and paper backing that show the needle gauge, and sterilization date. Such packaging also will either feature a ‘CE’ mark that tells you the item has been sterilized to European standards.
When it comes to body jewelry, most pieces are sterilized by autoclave and are contained in sterile pouches that feature clear plastic on one side (that you can view the jewelry through) and a paper backing that features a color-changing indicator that indicates what color it must be to be sterile. Beware of pouched jewelry that does not feature a color-change indicator, or that has been sterilized outside the United States by methods other than an autoclave. To be assured you are purchasing truly sterile body jewelry, purchase only from reputable US sellers that use color-change indicating pouches and sterilize by use of autoclave.