Long gone are the days when the ears were the only part of our body we pierced. Chins, bellies and noses got in line too. And all that is really great because this freedom gives us the ability to make fashion choices however and whenever we see fit. But not at the expense of our health. The last thing anyone would want is irritations, infections and allergic reactions. But don’t worry the fashion industry has it all under control.
Surgical steel jewelry is the number one choice for piercings. But then again, there are two important things to consider before you choose your metals.
a. Not all surgical stainless steel jewelry is the same.
b. Are you looking for a metal for the initial piercing and healing period or just new earrings?
The differences between surgical stainless steel jewelry
As its name implies, surgical steel is used for several medical applications. So as an overall it is a safe metal but it’s vital to know that not all surgical steel materials are created equal. Their properties vary based on the alloys they contain.
What’s the utility of alloys?
Alloys are mixtures of elements and are used to make jewelry stronger and corrosion resistant. The question is how much nickel they contain in order for jewelry to remain safe.
Why is nickel a concern?
As one of the four elements, nickel is used broadly for its strength and high resistance to corrosion. But some people are allergic to nickel. Although surgical steel contains a small percentage of nickel, people sensitive to this element might have an allergic reaction if they use this metal for the initial piercing or the healing period. On the other hand, the fact that there are variations in surgical steel metals used in the fashion jewelry industry comes to save the situation.
316L and 316LVM surgical steel metals are body-friendly and thus appropriate for jewelry. The former is a tad cheaper and the latter is better quality. Although they contain a small percentage of nickel, the element is trapped inside the metal for protection. It’s there to make the jewelry strong and rust-resistant. It will also allow you to sterilize the jewelry and thus keep your earrings clean. It will be polished to look shiny as well.
Is 316 surgical steel jewelry for you?
316 surgical steel jewelry is ideal for most people. After all, only a tiny percentage of people are allergic to nickel. Of course, if you are sensitive to nickel, it’s best to use titanium for piercing and healing. In a different case, you will be just fine. It’s not accidental that this type of stainless steel is widely used in the jewelry industry. If you are not sure about your allergies and sensitivities, make sure you get the best 316 surgical steel quality. Which will that be? The one polished to trap nickel under a protective chromium oxide layer, which will eliminate the risk of having an allergic reaction.
So, which 316 surgical steel jewelry should you use?
If you have no sensitivities, you can get the 316L surgical steel which has all the necessary properties to keep the jewelry shiny, strong and corrosion resistant while its cost will be low.
On the other hand, if you are allergic, get 316LVM surgical stainless steel. It costs a bit more but it’s totally worth it. Due to its manufacturing process, this metal has a perfect finish with high levels of cleanliness and purity that will keep the small percentage of alloys from causing skin irritations.
They are both great choices for body jewelry. Although allergic reactions are not common, it’s best to prevent than cure. After all, you have choices and the chance to wear beautiful fashion jewelry and still be safe. And that’s a win-win.