Helpful Info

All about ear piercing

There are two professional ear piercing systems available in New Zealand. These are Studex® Universal and Studex® System75. Each system uses a different kind of technology and offers different varieties of earrings. The information here will help you choose the best system for you.

Studex® Universal is a classic pressure-spring ear piercing system. It uses a reusable ear piercing instrument that must be manually loaded with a plastic holder for the piercing stud and clasp. The studs that are available for use with this system are thicker and feature a blunter end than those used with System75. This system is not available in Auckland since it does not comply with the local hygiene standards in the Auckland Council Health and Hygiene Bylaw 2013.

Studex® System75 is a modern and virtually silent ear piercing system that uses sterile single-use non-touch disposable cartridges. This system offers the optimum in hygiene and sterility. With this system, ears can be pierced gently with individually sealed, hypoallergenic studs. The ear piercing specialist inserts sterile cartridges into the system and touches neither the piercing stud nor the clasp during the piercing process. The piercing instrument does not touch the ear either. The studs that are available for use with System75 are slimmer and sharper than those used with Studex® Universal, making the piercing less traumatic to the ear and a great choice for piercing children's ears.

Does ear piercing hurt?

This is a very common question. With Studex® System75, ear piercing takes merely a matter of a few seconds. The system uses a very sharp fine gauge stud for minimal local trauma to the skin and most people say they feel only the slightest pinch. Because it is very gentle and virtually silent, System75 is very well suited to piercing children's ears.

Is ear piercing safe with an ear piercing instrument?

Yes. All Studex® ear piercing studs are packaged and sterilised to meet or exceed European EC standards and FDA regulations (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). When used with the Studex® System75 non-touch ear piercing system they offer the optimum in hygiene and sterility.

What age do I need to be to have my ears pierced?

In New Zealand ear piercing is controlled by laws or local bylaws. Most New Zealand cities require consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 16 years of age before a piercing can be carried out, and in some cities this is required for anyone under 18 years of age. A piercing release form should be filled out before the piercing is performed, and ID with proof of age will be required. If consent from a parent or legal guardian is required on behalf of a minor, the parent or legal guardian will be required to sign this form.

Is it safe to pierce infants and children's ears?

Yes. Studex® ear piercing systems are designed for ear piercing for customers at any age. For minors, the parents or legal guardians sign a release form. The procedure is normally carried out by two ear piercing specialists so that two instruments can be used and both ears can be pierced simultaneously. For piercing children's ears, we recommend Studex® System75. It is very gentle and virtually silent. After piercing, all aftercare should be carried out or supervised by an adult.

Can I get my cartilage pierced with Studex®?

Yes. Studex® ear piercing systems are designed to safely pierce the earlobe and cartilage along the rim of the upper ear. It is not suitable for inner ear piercings such as the tragus.

Is a cartilage piercing as gentle as a lobe piercing?

Because cartilage is a tougher tissue than the ear lobe, cartilage ear piercing is a more invasive procedure than lobe piercing. However, Studex® System75 studs are designed to create minimal trauma.

How long does it take for an ear piercing to heal?

After piercing, piercing studs should be worn for at least 6 weeks continuously. For the cartilage area of the ear, they should be left in for at least 12 weeks continuously. After 6 weeks (for earlobes) or 12 weeks (for cartilage), the piercing studs can be removed and other post-type earrings can be worn continuously. We recommend using only post-type earrings for the first 6 months from the date of piercing and for the first six months do not go for more than 24 hours without wearing jewelry in the piercing. The post should be surgical stainless steel or other hypoallergenic material.

How soon can I go swimming after I have had my ears pierced?

We recommend no swimming until the ears are properly healed. This is a minimum of 6 weeks (for earlobes) or 12 weeks (for cartilage).

I have very sensitive ears. Are there earrings I can wear?

Yes. Please see our Materials tab under 'Helpful Info' for more information.

Can I re-pierce an old piercing that has closed?

Some piercings can heal over quickly when jewellery is removed, sometimes in as little as a few hours. If a piercing has closed, it is important to never attempt to force jewellery back through the original piercing. We advise allowing the piercing to heal completely before re-piercing. A few months is usually recommended to allow the tissue to fully repair itself. When fully healed, your piercer will be able to determine whether you are able to have a new piercing performed in the same spot. They will check your ear for cysts, which feel like a small hard lump that can be moved under the skin. Cysts are embedded skin tissue that can sometimes form surrounding foreign debris and they cannot be pierced as doing so may cause a rupture, releasing the debris into the surrounding tissue which can cause infection. However, if you see and feel a small lump that does not move, it is more likely scar tissue. In most instances where the piercing has healed without additional injury, infection, or other trauma, it will be possible to pierce through the scar tissue and reopen the original piercing.

Can Studex® piercing systems be used for body piercing?

No! Studex® ear piercing systems are designed to safely pierce the earlobe and cartilage of the upper ear. They should not be used to pierce other parts of the body.

Health & Hygiene Bylaws

In New Zealand, some regional and territorial authorities have introduced Health & Hygiene Bylaws that are designed to help protect public health. They set rules about what services must be licenced and what services must meet minimum health and hygiene standards. If you are a member of the public and would like more information about the bylaws that are in place to protect your health, or if you offer services that pierce the skin and would like to ensure that you are complying with your local bylaw, you may find this section helpful. 

Here, we have compiled an alphabetised list of links to relevant bylaws that we are aware of in New Zealand, by territory. We offer this list with the hope that it will be a helpful resource, however we always recommend checking with your local authority for the most up to date information. This list was last updated October 15th, 2019.




New Plymouth


South Taranaki







Taking good care of new piercings is extremely important.

Always wash hands thoroughly with antibacterial wash before touching a new piercing.

Cleanse the front and back (where possible) of the piercing twice a day with Studex® Piercing Antiseptic Lotion, starting 24 hours after receiving the piercing, without removing the jewellery. Gently slide the stud/jewellery back and forth in the piercing. Avoid rotating an ear stud more than 180° left or right. This will prevent hair wrapping around the post at the back of the lobe.

Keep hair spray, soap, shampoo and other preparations away from the piercing. After shampooing, the piercing should be rinsed with clean water. Then apply Studex® Piercing Antiseptic Lotion as described above.

After cleansing the pierced area with Studex® Piercing Antiseptic Lotion the area should be kept dry.

Do not remove the jewellery from the piercing during the after care procedure and avoid handling your jewellery unnecessarily. You should also avoid pushing the clasp of an earring along the post towards the ear as tight earrings may lead to infection.

What should I do if my ears become infected?

Minor pain and redness may occur immediately after piercing. This is normal and will settle within 48 hours provided proper after care is followed. If undue pain, swelling, and/or redness occurs, consult your piercer or doctor immediately. If you believe the piercing is infected, do not remove the jewellery until you have consulted your piercer or doctor.


When choosing studs and earrings it’s a good idea to pay attention to the materials they contain. By choosing top-quality materials you can help support the healing process for new piercings and avoid allergic reactions by staying away from sub-standard materials. We generally recommend to avoid earrings containing health hazards such as the heavy metals lead and cadmium or the metal cobalt.

What do you mean by hypoallergenic?

Approximately 10-15% of people suffer some degree of Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis caused by nickel sensitivity. Since some people are allergic to nickel, the European Union nickel directive regulates how much nickel may be released onto the skin per week. For earrings, these are a maximum of 0.2 micrograms per square centimetre per week (i.e. 0.2 millionth of a gram). The term "hypoallergenic" or "nickel free" is applied to goods whereby either nickel is not present or nickel cannot be released into the bloodstream at levels high enough to trigger an allergic reaction.


Titanium is a natural material which is very corrosion resistant, hard and comparatively light. Medical titanium is used for high-quality surgical implants. It is perfectly suited for earrings and piercings studs as it is non-toxic and does not chemically react with the body, thus accelerating the healing process. Titanium grade 23 (also known as 6AL4V-ELI) is used for Studex® piercing studs. This alloy grade is hypoallergenic and therefore well suited for prolonged periods inside the body.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is a hypoallergenic metal, comprising 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. There is no nickel in sterling silver. The copper makes it more durable so it not only looks beautiful, but lasts a lifetime. With time, any sterling silver that is exposed to air will tarnish. It is the copper that will oxidise in the air, resulting in the build-up of a tarnished layer. Contact with perfume, salt, sulphur, skin creams, hairspray and chlorine will also cause oxidisation. Tarnish can be removed and sterling silver can easily be restored with a polish from your local jeweller or supermarket.

Surgical Stainless Steel

Surgical steel is a stainless steel with the 316L designation. Just like any other steel, this steel contains nickel. However, the nickel release rate for 316L surgical stainless steel is well below the allowable value given in the EU nickel directive, which makes it hypoallergenic and well suited to use in piercing studs and fashion earrings. This steel is also used for medical purposes, such as surgical implants, which remain in the human body for a lifetime without any harmful side effects.


Gold is a highly sought after precious metal. Pure gold is too soft to withstand everyday wear so it is alloyed with other metals including silver, copper, nickel and zinc to make it more durable. Karat is the term used to measure the purity of gold. The higher the karatage, the purer the gold. The alloys mixed with pure gold influence its colour. 18 karat gold will always consist of 75% pure gold, but depending on what alloys it is mixed with, may appear yellow, white or rose gold in colouration. Jewellery is called gold plated when a layer of gold has been deposited onto the surface of another metal, usually copper or silver. Gold may tarnish but it can easily be restored with a polish from your local jeweller or supermarket.


Rhodium is a noble metal which belongs to the platinum group. Because of its rarity and high costs, it is usually used in small amounts, for example for plating jewellery. Rhodium plating gives gold jewellery a dazzling white appearance, much brighter than white gold, which makes diamonds, precious stones, Cubic Zirconia or crystals stand out even more.


Gauges measure the thickness of earring and piercing posts. The smaller the gauge, the larger the post.

A standard earring has an 18 or 20 gauge post and most ear piercings are performed with an 18 or 20 gauge needle. Body piercing is traditionally done with 14 gauge needles and jewellery.

There are four systems for measuring gauges. The one commonly used for measuring jewellery is the American AWG/ Brown and Sharp system (see below).

22 Gauge0.6426mm
20 Gauge0.8103mm
18 Gauge1.0236mm
16 Gauge1.2903mm
14 Gauge1.6256mm
12 Gauge2.0523mm
10 Gauge2.5857mm
8 Gauge3.2614mm
6 Gauge4.1148mm
4 Gauge5.1892mm
2 Gauge6.5430mm
0 Gauge8.2525mm
00 Gauge9.2659mm
000 Gauge10.4038mm