Which metal should I choose for my new piercing?
If you’re getting a new piercing, you’re probably going to want to show it off with your own jewellery straight away. After all, one of the best things is choosing different sizes, colours and metals to match your own personal style - but unfortunately, this isn’t always the best idea.
Certain types of metals and materials might look great, but choosing the wrong one for a fresh piercing can actually contribute to various problems - from slowing down the healing process to increasing the chance of an infection setting in, even with the best aftercare routine. If you’ve got a visit to your local piercing studio booked, it’s best to choose from one of the following options when picking your jewellery:
Surgical Stainless Steel
One of the most common metals used in body jewellery, surgical stainless steel Jewellery is ideal for first piercings, as it’s particularly durable and doesn’t tend to react with bodily fluids - which is what causes infections.
Look for one of two types - 316L or 316LVM - as these are the only ones which are body-friendly, and won’t aggravate any allergies you might usually suffer from. It’s worth noting that Stainless Steel does contain nickel, however, so if you have hypersensitivity it’s best to switch to titanium for that first piercing.
Titanium jewellery is a brilliant option for initial piercings, especially if it’s your first one and you’re not used to the weight of body jewellery - it’s so light and comfortable, you’ll barely notice it’s there! It’s also super strong and resistant to corrosion and tarnishing and doesn’t react to sunlight, saline solution, saltwater or bodily fluids, making it a long-lasting choice.
The other bonus with titanium is that it barely contains any nickel, which means it’s ideal for anyone who suffers with hypersensitivity - the chances of having a reaction to a piercing with titanium are greatly reduced.
Titanium is available in a wide range of colours and can be easily shaped into curved styles, which means you won’t have to wait quite so long to customise your piercing to your own aesthetic.
Another great option for allergy sufferers, Niobium is similar to Titanium but slightly heavier and a little cheaper. It’s free from nickel and is low in toxicity, meaning it’s ideal as a hypoallergenic material for body jewellery.
Like Titanium, Niobium is resistant to corrosion but is softer and more malleable - which means it’s a great way to add some colour or variety to your new piercing at a more cost-effective price.
PTFE & BioFlex
Slightly different from the other options, PTFE & BioFlex aren't actually a metal, but a surgical plastic tubing that’s often used in nose piercings when they need to be kept open invisibly.
PTFE & BioFlex is a great alternative for anyone who is completely allergic to metal and should be used until the piercing has fully healed and other jewellery can be safely inserted. It’s non-toxic, odour-free and completely flexible - which means it can work in almost any style of piercing. If you think PTFE or BioFlex might be the best option for you, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your piercer when you visit the piercing studio.