For example, while all body jewelry has to be made of body-friendly materials, certain materials are considered safe only for fully healed piercings.
Similarly, initial jewelry should be of a certain length. This is particularly important for piercings where swelling is expected. Many piercings swell after the procedure is performed, so initial jewelry should be longer than the regular one.
Apart from these guidelines, there is also one common dilemma about initial piercings: should barbells or rings be used as jewelry? Or, to put it this way: which jewelry type is more suitable for new piercings – barbells or rings?
Which is Better?
Generally speaking, both barbells and rings are good choice as initial jewelry, as long as a particular jewelry type can accommodate this jewelry. Most piercings that can use barbells (be it straight, curved or circular barbells) can also use rings, so it’s not a problem.
Rings are often considered to be safer because they allow for easier cleaning. Proper cleaning is vital for aftercare and preventing problems, so it’s very important to perform regularly. Also, rings can accommodate swelling easily, so they often do not have to be changed once the first swelling is gone.
On the other hand, rings have certain disadvantages. They are more difficult to insert, though this should not be much of a concern, since your piercer will be the one to insert your initial jewelry. Also, rings are reported to cause more discomfort in some cases.
If we talk about barbells, it’s important to know that they can be cleaned properly – you just have to be more careful. Also, it’s possible to use a long enough barbell to accommodate for swelling, so this should not be a concern.
For example, rings are not a great initial jewelry choice for tongue piercings. In this case, it’s best to use a barbell. However, it’s vital to choose a barbell that is long enough to accommodate for swelling. Once the swelling is gone it has to be changed for a shorter barbell. It’s best to make your piercer change the jewelry for you.
The same should be done for other piercings with a significant swelling, such as lip piercings. Rings may be great jewelry for these piercings once they are fully healed, but different jewelry types, such as barbells or labrets are better used as initial jewelry. Just like tongue jewelry, initial lip jewelry should be longer to accommodate for swelling. Once the swelling is gone, your piercer should change your jewelry to a shorter one.
Also, navel piercings will typically benefit from barbells instead of rings as initial jewelry. While you may wear rings in your healed belly button piercing, it’s better to use a curved barbell as your initial jewelry. Rings are more likely to move inside the piercing and they can easily get snagged on clothing, which can be dangerous during the healing time.
Another thing to note in barbell vs ring dilemma is that the difference in curvature. Rings are always curved, which may be problem for certain piercings. With barbells, you can choose between different barbell designs, from straight to curved and circular. Each has a different curvature, so in case your jewelry has to be straight, it’s best to avoid both rings and more curved barbells and stick to straight barbells.
At the end of the day, there is no much of a difference. Both barbells and rings make suitable initial jewelry, as long as they are well-crafted and made of body-friendly materials. For most piercing types, there is really no need to stress over the choice. Both barbells and rings will do a good job.
In some cases, yes, there is a bit of a difference. This is particularly important for very sensitive piercings, or those that are not easy to clean. However, it’s important to know that this small advantage also brings certain disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice is yours (and your piercer’s). That being said, keep in mind that both barbells and rings are good choices and neither will endanger your new piercing.