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Skin Penetration, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Skin Penetration
Skin penetration is as a procedure in which the skin is cut, punctured, torn or shaved or the mucous membrane is cut, punctured or torn. This includes tattooing, branding; body piercing, acupuncture, scarification, dermal anchors and three dimensional art, body modifications and some beauty therapy treatments. All persons who perform skin penetration procedures and the premises in which these procedures are performed are required to comply with the provisions of the Health (Skin Penetration) Regulations 1998 (the Regulations) and Code of Practice for Skin Penetration Procedures.

The legislation requires:
•    All skin penetration establishments to notify the local government in which the premises is located;
•    Compliance with the Code of Practice; and
•    Mandates that all individuals known or suspected to have an infectious disease must advise the skin penetration practioners prior to any procedure.

The Code of Practice specifies the minimum standards that must be adhered to in order to minimise the spread of infectious disease. It provides for specific measures that must be implemented in regard to hand washing, the use of personal protective equipment or clothing and the handling and disposal of sharps and other contaminated materials.

The Department of Health website provides more information on skin penetration

Depending upon the type of activities to be conducted in addition to the Regulations and Code of Practice there may be additional criteria that needs addressing, please refer to the specific procedures for body piercing, tattooing and beauty therapy treatments below for additional information.

Body and ear piercing
All body piercers must be familiar with the provisions on body piercing (under s.104A of the Children and Community Services Act 2004) which prohibit the piercing of a child under 18 years of age in any intimate area. Children must have written consent from their parent or guardian for all non-intimate body piercings (nose, tongue, face, belly button or other skin surfaces). Consent from a parent or guardian is not required where a child is aged 16 years or over. For further information please refer to the Department of Child Protection’s website

Tattooing and Branding
Similar to body piercing the Department of Child Protection has established age limits for tattooing and branding. The minimum age is 18 years of age for both procedures unless parental consent is granted for minors. 

Beauty Therapy
Certain beauty therapy treatments involve skin penetration this includes such activities as:

  • waxing
  • shaving
  • extraction
  • cuticle cutting
  • electrolysis
  • tweezing
  • pedicure skin rasping

Not all activities in the beauty therapy industry are regulated by the Code of Practice and Skin Penetration Regulations however; it remains the responsibility of proprietors and beauty therapy practioners to ensure the premises and practises are conducted in a safe and hygienic manner.

The City’s Environmental Health Officers regularly conduct inspections of Beauty Therapists to ensure that health and hygiene standards are maintained.

Hairdressing establishments are required to comply with the Hairdressing Establishment Regulations 1972. These regulations provide the minimum requirements for health and hygiene standards that must be adhered to in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The City’s Environmental Health Officers periodically inspect all hairdressing establishments to confirm that these health and hygiene standards are being followed.

Being a skin penetration activity the use of cutthroat razors is strictly limited to the use of interchangeable single use blades. The Department of Health Use of cut throat razors in the hairdressing industry fact sheet has more information.

Application Process
Any business that wishes to operate within the City of Nedlands requires initial consultation to be sought from the City’s Planning and Building Departments and where necessary lodging an application for a planning and/or building approval. Please contact the respective Departments on 9273 3500 or email

Subsequent to consultation with the Planning and Building Departments you will also be required to complete the Application to register a skin penetration premises and/ or Application to register a hairdressing establishment. Approval from the City’s Environmental Health Services must be finalised prior to the commencement of operations.

For further information please contact the City’s Environmental Health Services on 9273 3500 or email

Application for Skin Penetration, Beauty Therapy and Hair Dressing


Application for Skin Penetration, Beauty Therapy and Hair Dressing