Skin Penetration

Council’s health officers undertake regular inspections of premises involved in skin penetration. The Public Health Act, 2010 defines a skin penetration procedure as:

  • Acupuncture;
  • Tattooing;
  • Ear piercing;
  • Hair removal; and
  • Any other procedure prescribed by the regulation.

Procedure (whether medical or not) that involves skin penetration also includes body piercing, waxing, electrolysis, semi-permanent makeup and any beauty treatment which involves the deliberate penetration or removal of the skin. This does not include procedures performed in the practice of a registered medical practitioner.

This definition does not include hairdressers or barbers as their practices do not involve the deliberate penetration of the skin. They are required to follow infection control procedures when skin is accidentally cut or penetrated and to prevent the spread of skin infections such as tinea, herpes, staphylococcal, streptococcal and pseudomonal infections.

If skin penetration procedures are not undertaken correctly they have the potential to transmit bacterial and fungal infections, as well as viral infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Infection control procedures must be implemented to protect the health of the client and the operator.

New Business Owners

Before opening or purchasing an existing a hairdresser or skin penetration business, it is vital that you contact council.

New Premises

It is a legislative requirement that prior to opening for trading, that all skin penetration premises must complete a development applications.


Skin penetration premises, as well as beauty and hairdressers, are inspected twice year to ensure they comply with infection control requirements and basic health and hygiene.

Useful Links

These websites may provide useful information including legislation and fact sheets:

Fact Sheets

For further information on infection control procedures, please refer to the NSW Health Department Control of Skin Penetration Procedure page and these other Department fact sheets: