When it comes to purchasing a body piercing kit, it helps to know not only what you need (to do the job right), but what the kit actually contains. There are two basic types of home body piercing kits available; free-hand kits and kits that include forceps. (There are also larger piercing kits called ‘Starter’ kits that are designed for apprentice body piercers.) A free-hand kit is what it says, without forceps and requiring a steady and practiced piercer who can complete the task without the aid of forceps. The other kind of kit includes forceps. Common to most (but not all) of these kits is; a piercing needle, benzalkonium chloride prep pads, nitrile gloves (not latex), a cork and a piece of body jewelry.
The most important things to look for in a body piercing kit are sterile needles, disinfecting prep materials, sterile forceps (if not a free-hand kit) and sterile body jewelry. If a kit simply lists the piece of body jewelry included, or goes into the integrity of the metal it’s made of without promising it is pre-sterilized and in a color-changing pouch, it is not sterile. The vast majority of body piercing kits sold online and most of the kits sold on ebay (with a few exceptions) do not offer sterile body jewelry. Why? Mainly because it is easier and cheaper to just throw a piece of raw body jewelry into a bag and ship it than it is to go to the trouble (of using an autoclave, spore testing, pouching, etc., etc.) that is necessary to sterilize body jewelry. If you are going to purchase a body piercing kit on ebay, make sure you take the time to find one of the few sellers that offer sterile body jewelry in their kits. It also helps that the seller knows about body piercing and is not someone totally ignorant of body art and just in it for the money. Another good thing to look for is kits that include aftercare instructions and how-to instructional videos that will help make sure the job is done right the first time.