Piercings Gone Wrong (Allergic Reactions): What Metal or Material is Right for Your Piercings?

by Crystal S
3 Comments

Piercings Gone Wrong. We've all seen it. We all hope it doesn't happen to us. This guide can help!  Keep reading for:

  • Why you might be having a reaction to your jewelry
  • Some details about the metals & materials that Body Candy uses 
  • Which material may be right for you (whether your skin is metal sensitive or not)


Allergic Reactions

IF:

  • You are experiencing mild itching & redness or more serious symptoms like swelling & throbbing
  • Your piercing is migrating away from your jewelry 

THEN:

  • You are probably experiencing an allergic reaction! 
  • Allergens have been introduced to the body through your piercing
  • These reactions are common

Some people can wear all kinds of jewelry. Others find allergic & irritated reactions common or even develop allergies later in life

While mild symptoms often subside when jewelry is removed a severe reaction should be seen by a doctor.

To prevent reactions and sensitivities in the first place we suggest considering one of the following materials for your next body jewelry purchase:

 

14k Gold

PTFE

Bioplast

Solid Titanium


    14k Gold:

    • Creating alloys composed of gold and other metals gives the ability to craft more wearable, durable pieces of jewelry than gold alone. Each listed karat weight (k) is a reference to the percentage of pure gold your jewelry contains.
    • Solid gold jewelry is hypoallergenic and a reliable option for many people with metal sensitivities

     

    PTFE:

    • The lightweight flexibility of PTFE provides maximum comfort as it flexes with tissue instead of against it. This amazing, nonstick material can substantially reduce healing time in new piercings, piercings grouped close together, and piercings that have changed with your body over time.
    • One of the most exciting uses of PTFE is the popular pregnancy belly ring style that fits your growing tummy! PTFE is autoclavable and hypoallergenic. This material is an excellent choice for people who struggle with sensitivities and allergic reactions to metals. 

     

    Bioplast:

    • If you’ve noticed your jewelry irritates your piercing or if you know for certain you have a nickel allergy then Bioplast may be right for you.
    • Bioplast is not metal and the material can be heat sterilized, making it safe for healing swollen or infected piercings and the safest option for allergy sufferers or anyone who doesn’t want to take any chances on metals.

     

    Solid Titanium

    • Grade 23 titanium is high quality and is used for solid titanium pieces which are composed of an alloy of pure titanium and other metals or elements. 
    • The “grade” listed with titanium products is a reference to the exact composition and oxygen content of the metal.  This type of titanium can be heat sterilized and is considered hypoallergenic so its a great choice if you are prone to allergic reaction.

     

     


    When it comes to the metals and materials used to create your body jewelry there is always new and changing information. At Body Candy we do our best to help you make an informed decision but we ALWAYS recommend that you ask your own trusted piercer for advice specific to you.


    So, you've never had an allergic reaction? Your piercings are healed and you've worn a variety of jewelry materials. You can wear the materials listed above, but also some others listed below:

    Sterling Silver

    Acrylic

    316L Surgical Grade Stainless Steel

    Anodized Titanium

    Gold Plated

    Sterling Silver:

    • Sterling silver–even when combined with other metals–is soft enough to scratch, creating nicks that can be a trigger for bacteria.
    • Silver tends to oxidize when it comes in contact with body tissues or fluids and the result (tarnish!) is not good for your piercing.
    • Do not wear sterling silver jewelry in unhealed body piercings or if you are prone to allergic reaction!

     

    Acrylic:

    • “Acrylic” refers to varieties of plastic like lucite and plexiglass that are super light and great for larger gauge piercings.
    • Acrylic jewelry comes in every color and print you can imagine but is much easier to break or shatter than other materials.
    • Bending, heating, and dropping are death for acrylic jewelry which means Acrylic can not be sterilized and is not a good choice for people who are prone to allergic reactions or for use in unhealed body piercings.

     

    316L Surgical Grade Stainless Steel:

    • This high shine, no frills marvel is the perfect combo of function and anti-fashion thanks to its colorless, simple style that makes it the go-to material for ever-changing trends.  If you are prone to allergic reaction and find that you cannot wear “plain” metal body jewelry this may not be right for you. 

     

     

    Anodized Titanium: 

    • Titanium can be used for both solid titanium pieces as described above or as an outer coating for items plated in titanium.  Like gold plated jewelry, anodized titanium pieces are composed of a hard metal core like surgical steel and a high shine outer coating: in this case, titanium.  This allows for a variety of bright, colorful jewelry. Body Candy is generally able to list the base metal for anodized and plated jewelry. If you are prone to allergic reaction you should choose pieces with a base metal that is right for you. 

     

     

    Gold Plated: 

    • When an item is listed as “gold plated,” the item is not solid gold.  The base is composed of a harder metal like surgical grade stainless steel which is coated with a thin layer of lustrous gold for a shining finish.  This creates the look of gold but with greater stability and a lower cost. Many people can wear plated items but if you are unable to wear stainless steel body jewelry this may not be a good choice for you. 

     


    When it comes to the metals and materials used to create your body jewelry there is always new and changing information. At Body Candy we do our best to help you make an informed decision but we ALWAYS recommend that you ask your own trusted piercer for advice specific to you.

    by Crystal S

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      Comments

    • C

      CZ

      Thanks for the info! I’m very allergic to Nickel. It only takes about a day or two before I start developing tiny blisters in the area where the nickel is. I was afraid that the new one I bought might contain nickel so I came to check. Glad you have this information out there for those of us who have sensitivity to certain metals.

    • M

      Mandi

      Hi. I bought a nose ring 2 days ago and today i took it out and pus came out and my nose is a swollen. Is it an infection or just an allergic reaction?

    • h

      honeybee

      Hi,
      I have very severe allergies to nickel. Just thought could help someone (I LOVE you wrote this!! I know more of what jewelry I will go try to find now- you rock!) Most people, especially the piercers and people who sell earrings, do not know that sterling silver contains just the right amount of nickel that it is legal for them to NOT tell you there is nickel in it. They will argue you up and down all day, and tell you they have a detailed metals chart- do not give in- make them look it up, it has .05%? or .5% of nickel. If you are allergic you WILL have a problem trust me- I spent years having mini surgeries because besides turning black and purple, pain and bleeding, my ears reacted by forming big cysts in my ears, so the dr.s kept cutting me open to take them out and send them to the labs. Because I am prone to staff infections, they chose to burn it closed… after a few months of this (no one knew it was from the jewelry having nickel), I could no longer Feel my ear! I don’t want anyone else to go through this :) It sucked. Years (many) later, I went to a piercer and told them how allergic I was to nickel, and said it several times, he got distracted apparently (so he says he was at that time) and even though I still asked again, he told me it was fine, my ear swelled up so horrifically it was questionable whether anyone could get it back out (earring) as it turned into a cauliflower ear (gross- thank God it went back to normal), he also wanted to test a new metal he swore was not nickel that would save me money and he put a microderm right under my belly button. I didn’t react horribly visibly right away, doesn’t mean I wasn’t sick and had no idea why… this new, special metal nearly killed me. One morning after Christmas we had to catch a flight back home, I literally physically could NOT MOVE at all!. I’d sweat all night and been sick to my stomach, I felt like monkey poop. When I scratched my tummy a little I looked down to see many black lines shooting out of where the microderm was. It was right after Christmas and the family we went to see was put out that I was having an emergency and needed a ride, (we all thought I had a horrible case of the flu at first, but it was obviously not the flu as time went on, I am chronically ill- not contagious, and my brother knowing I did not have the flu refused to let me see my beloved nephew, or be around me.. so when he came over (hotel suite, for 4 of us) he made my mom go into her bedroom and close the door, he made a rather large production of it when he entered- rather painful…) I went to piercers, CVS nurses, urgent care- no one would help and we could not get the microderm out. the last urgent care we found, was floored at what they saw, I had severe metal poisoning which hadn’t quite reached my heart, but was close. They performed immediate surgery having to open me up and dig clear down inside me to get the ring. My body reacted to this by not only swelling but sucking the problem clear down inside me- crazy but true. I don’t know how many inches they had to cut open and go down to it, but it was awful. I am only telling you all this because I hope I can help someone else from having any of this happening to you :)
      Crystal S- You are awesome for posting this, thank you so much for all your vast knowledge on metals and allergies, I am grateful to you, sincerely! :)
      HUGS!!
      Honeybee

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