Jewelry for People with Allergies and Sensitive Skin

Nickel Allergy ProblemThere are many sensitive people prone to allergies and other skin problems. There are also people with a very sensitive skin. Does it mean these people cannot enjoy body jewelry or piercings?

Good news: if you are prone to allergies or if you have a sensitive skin, it does NOT mean you can’t wear body jewelry. The trick is just to find jewelry that will not trigger your allergies and that will be comfortable for you to wear.

Unsafe Materials and Alloys

In most of the cases, to avoid allergies, skin sensitivity and other problems, it’s important to wear jewelry made of safe materials. Safe materials are those materials that are body-friendly and medical grade. These materials will not cause allergies in most people.

It’s important to understand what causes allergies in the first place. Most of the time, what people are allergic to are various alloys present in metal jewelry. Alloys are mixtures of elements. It means that even if the jewelry is made of a main element, it may contain traces of other elements, which can prove to be dangerous for you. Alloys are often added to enhance the properties of the main element, such as to make it stronger, or softer, or to change its color. This may work, but it can also be dangerous if you are allergic to the alloy.

Avoid Nickel Allergy

By far the most common is nickel-allergy. It is very common because nickel is a very popular alloy used in many metals. Nickel is sometimes used in gold jewelry, so all gold pieces containing gold can cause a serious allergy.

For this reason, it’s important to wear only nickel-free body jewelry. Whenever you choose your jewelry piece, especially if it’s gold, make sure it’s nickel-free. This is the only way to avoid nickel allergy.

Another material to avoid is steel. It may also contain nickel. However, not all steel jewelry is created equally. Surgical Steel is a safe material. This is a medical-grade jewelry material that does not contain nickel.

However, nickel allergy is not the only problem you may encounter. Depending on your body, you may be allergic to a different alloy. This is why it’s highly recommended to check all the alloys present in a jewelry piece or to stick to hypoallergenic jewelry only.

Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Hypoallergenic jewelry is the one that is specially made to be safe for people who have allergies and sensitive skin. This jewelry is made of materials that are known not to cause allergies so it’s generally safe even for the more sensitive users.

However, keep in mind that “hypoallergenic” is more of a generic term used by jewelry companies. There is no strict regulation what “hypoallergenic” actually means. It may simply mean that it’s nickel-free. On the other hand, it may mean it’s made of the medical-grade materials specially made for sensitive people.

The safest body jewelry materials are those that are considered to be “hypoallergenic”. The most popular of them are:

  • Titanium
  • Niobium
  • Surgical Steel (especially the medical-grade 316LVM Surgical Steel)

You may also use gold jewelry, as long as it’s nickel-free.

Another good way to go is to use non-metallic jewelry pieces. Many of these materials, such as acrylic or Bioplast jewelry, is generally safe to use even by people with sensitive skin and allergies.

What about Organic Jewelry?

Another good way to go is to use organic jewelry (made of wood, stone, glass, horn or bone). If you choose to do this, however, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the organic components of your jewelry.

Organic jewelry is very beautiful and can be very effective but it can cause additional problems because it can’t be sterilized as much as metal jewelry. You need to make sure that organic jewelry is made of a material you are not allergic to. Also, it’s highly recommended to wear this type of jewelry only in fully healed piercings.

Different Types of Barbells

Different Types of BarbellsBarbells are among the most popular body jewelry pieces. They are probably the most popular piercing jewelry type after Captive Bead Rings. Barbells come in many different shapes and varieties, so they can be used for almost any piercing type.

The basic design of a barbell is a bar with a bead on each end. One or both beads are removable so you can insert your jewelry easily. The other bead is typically fixed, so only one bead is removable.

Barbells are a type of threaded jewelry. It means that the removable ball attaches to the shaft by screwing. Barbells can be Internally Threaded or Externally Threaded. Internally Threaded barbells have smooth ends and the ball is the one with a threaded post. The shaft has a threaded receiving tube. This type of jewelry tends to be more comfortable and safer to use, because there are no sharp edges on the shaft alone. It means you won’t hurt any tissue when you insert your shaft through the piercing.

Externally Threaded barbells are the opposite: they have a threaded shaft and a ball with a receiving tube. In this type of jewelry, you need to pass the shaft with a threaded post through the tissue. It may lead to tearing and other problems, so generally speaking, Internally Threaded jewelry is recommended. The only exception is jewelry of a very small gauge (such as gauge 20 or gauge 18). Such jewelry is too thin to be Internally Threaded.

Types of Barbells

There are many different barbell types to choose from. While all barbells share the basic design of a shaft with a ball on each end, the shaft itself can be shaped in several different ways. It makes for several unique barbell types. These different barbell styles are suitable for different piercing types.

The most popular barbell types include:

  • Straight Barbells
  • Curved Barbells
  • Circular Barbells
  • Spirals
  • Surface Bars

Straight Barbells

Straight Barbells are the basic types of barbells, and they can be used for many different piercings. A straight barbell has a straight shaft, with a bead on each end. The beads can be plain and simple, or they may have gems or other ornamentations.

A special type of a straight barbell is Industrial Barbell. This is a very long barbell, with the shaft significantly longer than regular. Such a long shaft is made to accommodate Industrial Piercings. Since this piercing type combines two piercing holes and goes from one side of the ear to the other, the bar should be long enough to reach both ends of the piercing.

Curved Barbells

Curved barbells are sometimes known as “navel curves”, because they are most commonly used for navel piercings. Curved barbells have a curved shaft, which gives them a really unique look. This curvature makes jewelry sit better in certain piercing types (such as belly button piercing), so curved barbells are widely used for these piercings.

The curvature on the shaft can be made in many different ways. It can range to almost straight to almost circular. A popular variation of this design is a so-called “J-bar” or “banana barbell”. This is a slightly curved barbell with a 90 degree bend near one end. It is specially designed to be used in several types of navel piercings. It makes the decoration sit better against the skin.

Circular Barbells

Circular Barbells are also known as “horseshoe barbells”, because of their shape. These barbells have a shaft that is circular. The shaft usually makes the perfect circle, although some circular barbells have a more elliptical shaft.

The shaft of a circular barbell is never fully closed the way it is with Captive Bead Rings. Instead, there is a gap on top and each end of the barbell has a bead.

Spirals

Technically speaking, Spirals are almost never referred to as “barbells”, but they are a form of barbells. With this jewelry type, the shaft is made into a spiral. Sometimes, the Spiral is shaped in such a way that the ends overlap but they can be easily separated to make insertion of jewelry possible.

Spirals come in many different sizes and while some of them are ornamented with different types of decorations, it’s the shape itself that’s unique and made to attract attention. Therefore, most spirals are made to be simple yet elegant and they don’t have heavy ornamentation.

Surface bars

Surface Bars are used for surface piercings. This is a special type of barbell, where a shaft has two 90 degree bends. It makes this barbell resemble a staple. The ends of the barbell have beads. This shape is specially designed to make surface piercings more secure and less prone to migration and rejection.

Vertical vs Horizontal Piercings

Vertical and Hortizontal PiercingsMany times you will hear piercings referred to as “horizontal” or “vertical”. While these terms may sound intuitive, it’s not always clear what they mean. The confusion becomes even bigger when you take jewelry into account.

Many jewelry pieces are made for only one style of piercing (vertical or horizontal) and they simply don’t look great in the other type. Even worse, certain jewelry types can’t be used for a style of piercing they are not made for.

In order to avoid confusion and to be able to tell a difference easily, it’s important to understand the difference between vertical and horizontal piercings.

Piercing Direction

Whether a piercing will be considered horizontal or vertical depends on its direction and position on the body. This is true for both the piercing hole (the direction of the needle) and jewelry worn in a specific piercing.

The two most common directions are horizontal and vertical. They are mostly intuitive and easy to understand:

  • Horizontal piercings are done horizontally on the body part that is pierced. The needle goes from left to right. Same goes for jewelry: it is positioned from left to right. Examples: typical nipple piercings, septum piercing, Ampallang.
  • Vertical piercings are done vertically on the body part that is pierced. The needle goes from top to bottom (up and down). Same goes for jewelry: it is positioned from up to down. Examples: typical navel piercing, vertical clitoral hood piercing, Apadravya.

Keep in mind that these directions are not the only ones possible. It’s possible, though rarer, to make a piercing under an angle. This type of diagonal piercings produce a unique look. They are mostly done on ears or navel. For example, diagonal Industrial Piercing may be taken as one of these, though keep in mind that it is, strictly speaking, two piercings in one. Each of the individual piercings that make an Industrial Piercing will typically be ordinary horizontal or vertical piercings, only done at an angle that when combined together, creates a diagonal look.

Another example of a diagonal piercing is eyebrow piercing. While it’s typically considered a horizontal piercing (unless it’s clearly vertical), it’s important to note that eyebrow piercings are often done at a slight angle.

Inside and Out

This divide into horizontal and vertical piercings may seem neat when it comes to piercings where both holes are outside the body. But what about those where only one of the holes is visible on the outside?

For example, many lip piercings, nose piercings and other facial piercings are of this kind. One side of the hole (and jewelry) lies outside of the body while the other one is on the inside. In the case of lip piercings, one hole is on the outside of the lip while the other one is inside the mouth. In the case of a nostril piercing, one hole is outside on the nostril while the one is on the inside.

This sort of placement is characteristic for these types of piercings. So, are these considered vertical or horizontal? There is no universal way to answer this question, especially since it’s often not mentioned how directions are called in the case of these piercings. However, conventional wisdom and piercing practice often treat this piercing types as horizontal piercings.

Yes, they go from inside to the outside rather than left-right, but they can be considered horizontal when it comes to practical aspects. Most importantly, they are defined as “non-vertical”. This is important, because most of these lip and nose piercings have their vertical variant, which is a special type of piercing. With a vertical variant, the hole goes from top to bottom and both ends of the piercing (and both decorative balls) are seen outside of the body.

For example, a typical labret piercing will have the ball outside of the lip but the other end of the jewelry will be inside the mouth. Vertical labret, on the other hand, typically uses barbells and both ends of the barbell (with balls) are seen. This is because, unlike typical labret piercing, a vertical labret will have both holes on the outside of the lip.

Horizontal and Vertical Jewelry

What does it mean for jewelry? While many jewelry pieces can be worn in both vertical and horizontal piercings, some pieces are made for only one type. Furthermore, some pieces are made for piercings that go from inside out (like typical lip piercings or nostril piercings). All these differences often mean a specialized jewelry has to be worn.

Also, some jewelry types are made in two variants, horizontal and vertical. It usually depends on the decoration. Sometimes, the placement of the decorative bead or a gem, dangles or charms will depend on the horizontal or vertical orientation. In these cases it’s important to remember the direction of the piercing and to request either horizontal or vertical variant of the jewelry you wish to buy.

Condoms and Piercings

CondomsOne of the main concerns people have about genital piercings is whether they can damage condoms or not. Or, rather, if it’s possible to wear a condom if you have a piercing. This is a good question. Safe sex is important so it’s vital to know if your body piercing can cause condoms to break.

The good news is that for the most part, you don’t have to worry. Condoms can be used even if you have a piercing. However, it’s important to follow some precautions.

Will Condoms Break?

The unfortunate things about condoms is that they break from time to time. It’s not always the user’s fault, but it’s important to know how to decrease the chance of condoms breaking.

Body jewelry typically used for genital piercings cannot make condoms break on their own. It’s due to the shape of jewelry made for genital piercings. Since comfort is important for piercings placed on the penis and other parts of genitalia, the jewelry used is typically smooth and without rough edges. It means that it can fit inside a condom easily without causing any damages to the condom. The sex can then proceed normally without a problem.

It means that you don’t have to worry. Condoms will not break due to body jewelry made for genital piercings. While accidents may happen here and there, the experiences of many people prove that condoms are safe to be used with genital piercings.

In fact, condoms are recommended in some cases. This is particularly true for new piercings at the early stages of healing. A new piercing is basically an open wound, so it’s recommended to use condoms during sexual activities. Condoms will not only prevent sharing of bodily fluids, which is increased with new piercings, but will also protect the piercing itself from being hurt or damaged.

It is important to take a good care of your new piercing in the early stages of healing in order to prevent infections and other problems, so condoms can help with that.

Advice on Using Condoms with Piercings

Here are some tips on how to ensure that condoms don’t break if you use them with genital piercings:

  • Make sure to always use smooth jewelry without rough edges. It is the most important thing to ensure safety.
  • The jewelry has to fit nicely under the condom. It shouldn’t be too loose and it shouldn’t move under the condom.
  • It’s best if the jewelry is not made in a very small gauge. Small gauge jewelry tends to be sharper and can damage condoms more than large gauge jewelry. The good news is that genital piercings typically don’t use jewelry of the smallest gauge.
  • Experiment with different types of condoms until you find the ones that fit you perfectly.
  • Complicated jewelry or decorated jewelry is best to be avoided while wearing a condom.
  • Same jewelry rules apply for any body part that comes in contact with the condom. If you engage in oral sex, make sure to wear only smooth tongue and lip jewelry. Women should also wear smooth jewelry pieces in their genital piercings to avoid damaging their partner’s condom during intercourse.
  • If you are scared that your jewelry may damage condoms, you may consider removing it during intercourse. Make sure to put jewelry back after sex because genital piercings tend to close quickly.

Stretched Piercings Made to Extreme: Joel Miggler’s Cheek Holes

Cheek Piercing Extreme body modifications take a new meaning in this 23 year old’s facial piercings. Joel Miggler from Germany has several facial piercings stretched to large gauges. This young man, however, didn’t stop at stretched earlobes: he has large holes on either side of his cheeks. These cheek holes are stretched to the width of 36mm.

Depending on the type of plugs and flesh tunnels he wears, you can clearly see his teeth, gums and split tongue. The young man claims he has no special name for his cheek piercings. “You can call them stretched or big cheeks”, he claims. He also states he wants to continue stretching his cheeks to a larger gauge.

This body art enthusiast has multiple tattoos and 25 piercings total, but none of them attract so much attention as his stretched cheek piercings.

The young man claims the reaction to his piercings are mostly negative, especially online, but he and his girlfriend are not bothered by these reactions. “I don’t care what they say”, Miggler claims.

Put Some Weight On your Body Piercings!

Piercings can represent a person’s personality in many different ways. The placement of the piercing(s), the size, shape, and the jewelry all help define that person’s individuality a little more. Some people like to push their bodies to limits they never thought they could reach or handle. Body modifications help them achieve this goal.

 

Most body modification enthusiasts enjoy stretching or gauging their piercings to larger sizes. This could be for a number of reasons. One reason could be that they want to see how far they can push their bodies to the max limit. Another could have to do with their individuality. The need to stand out in a crowd, personal preferences as far as the way they want to appear, or even sexual desires may also play a role in the decision to stretch or gauge their piercing.

 

The Most Common Body Piercings:

 

One of the most common piercings to gauge is the ear lobe. After the ear has been pierced and completely healed it can be stretched to astonishing sizes. There are different ways to gauge the ears. Tapers are very popular. These are spike like body jewelry that come in a number of different sizes, used to gradually stretch the piercing. Another way to gauge is by using weights.  Once the gauged piercing has healed, adding weights can help stretch it to greater size. “S” hooks are usually used to add the weights to the piercing.

 

Weights are not just used to help stretch piercings to larger sizes. Some men who practice ball stretching also enjoy adding weights to their ball weights for more pleasure or for better results. Some ball weights are specifically designed to accommodate added weights. For instance, a “Parachute Ball Stretcher” is designed so that weights can be added to the chains that are attached to the soft leather “parachute”. There are different sizes and shapes of weights that can be added to satisfy the individual’s needs.

 

Adding on weights to a labia piercing is not unheard of either. Women with labia piercings find that adding the weights to be very arousing and visually stimulating. The weights seem to increase the sensitivity for some women, making this to be a very fun activity. For those who are into the BDSM scene you can also use the weights in part of these practices. Being used during a bondage sessions and allowing your partner to add weights to the labia piercing can prove to be very erotic to both parties involved.

 

Don’t forget to check out all the different extra add on weights we have available here at The Chain Gang for all different piercings!

What you can expect to find at a Body Jewelry Store

At a body jewelry store, you can expect to find unique and exquisite body jewelry for all parts of your body. On the other hand, you can also find experts in body jewelry that can help you find the perfect body jewelry for your piercings.

Body jewelry is used to adorn various parts of the part include the ears, nose, eyebrow, labret, nipple, and even private areas. When you first look at the various pieces of jewelry you may not know what part of the body they were created for that is the main reason you need a helping hand when it comes to choosing the correct body jewelry. Continue reading

Body Piercing to the Extreme – Man gets about 1200 Piercings in One Day!

Body Piercing world record, which Jeremy Stroud broke on May 2nd 2009, by receiving 1197 piercings in a single day, clears all doubt about human endurance and potential to resist pain.

The self-confessed body modification enthusiast, Jeremy Stroud, from Arlington Texas, was under the needle for five hours. Well worth enough, when you can set an unprecedented body piercing record!

Body Piercing professional, Tyson Turk inserted 800 needles into Jeremy’s back, 300 in his right arm, 50 in his leg and 20 in his left arm. Although the piercings were removed later, yet they did leave behind the scars of victory and courage. Continue reading

Elaine Davidson is the Most Pierced Woman in the World!

And with 6005 piercings, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be! “I like pain, I love pain”, Elaine proclaims proudly. Over the years, the lady has taken the love for body piercing and body jewelry to an altogether different level. Recently titled as the world’s most pierced woman by Guiness Book of Records, Elaine is a nurse by profession and has been honored with the title on previous occasions as well. She was first recognized by Guinness World Records in 2000, when she had 462 piercings, with 192 on her face alone.

A closer look at Elaine and her body piercing passion

Nine years later, Elaine has managed to keep her record intact. With more piercings added, she has now taken the count to a whopping 6005. The most interesting part is that a good majority of her piercings are genital, both internal and external. She sports 500 genital piercings! Continue reading

Times When You Should Really Rethink Getting a Piercing

Piercings are so hot and in right now! No matter how much some folks frown upon them, everyone wants and gets pierced left, right and center, very literally! While it is completely your decision to get pierced and/or tattooed, there are some times when the decision seriously has to be thought over.

It is a common notion that you have to tolerate at least some pain in order to look nice, and it is true as well. But sometimes, it is just not worth it, especially if the result is too much pain, bleeding and/or perennial discomfort. Continue reading