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Skin Piercing Registration

Do I require skin piercing registration?

If you carry out any of the following activities, all operators and the premsies where you operate must be registered:

  • Acupuncture (including dry needling)
  • Cosmetic piercing (including dermal anchoring / implants)
  • Electrolysis
  • Semi-permanent skin colouring (microblading, micropigmentation etc.)
  • Permanent tattooing

This is a legal requirement under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as amended by the Local Government Act 2003. The purpose of the law is to protect the public from diseases that could be passed on when providing these treatments.

It is an offence to carry out any of the above skin piercing activities if the registration process has not been completed.

Click here to view our skin piercing policy.


Registration is not required when skin piercing is carried out by, or under the supervision of, a person who is registered as a medical practitioner, such as a doctor (or, in the case of acupuncture only, a dentist).

Non-registerable activities

All other special treatments that don’t fall in to the five types that require registration must still be carried out in a safe way. The law that governs this area of work — the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 — will apply.

The injection of Botox and cosmetic filler implants are not classed as skin-piercing activities under the 1982 Act. Note that Botox is a prescription only medicine and can only be administered to a defined patient by a doctor, or by a nurse under the supervision of a doctor.

Under the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act 2021 – it is illegal to provide either procedure to under-18s for cosmetic reasons.

Hair removal by the use of Class 3B and 4 lasers and/or intense pulsed light sources require registration with the Care Quality Commission.

Mobile premises

It is not permissible to register practitioners who operate solely from other peoples premises without having their own treatment room somewhere. Practitioners must be registered at a registered premises. However, having registered, they can then visit individuals’ homes to provide treatment on request, providing they have suitable infection control procedures in place to protect themselves and their clients.

Changes to registration

If you move premises, you will need to reapply for a new skin piercing registration.

If the practitioners change, you must let us know. Each new practitioner will need to register by completing an application form and pay the appropriate fee.

If you wish to offer additional skin piercing activities a new application form must also be submitted.

If you need to make any changes, if the business closes, or practitioners are no longer working at the premises, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this page.


The guidance below includes information on basic requirements for safe, clean premises, legal issues, waste disposal, infection control, aftercare advice and at a glance checklist.

Appendices within each document also show examples of how a medical history questionnaire, consent form and aftercare advice sheets might be prepared.

Contact us - Food and Workplace Safety

01235 422403
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Food and Workplace Safety Team
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE