Steel is generally an excellent material for body piercing jewelry. However, in order to stay safe and to avoid allergies, it is important to only use high-quality body jewelry. It means that you need to focus on specific types of steel. One of the most common piercing jewelry materials is Surgical Steel. Is it a safer option than “regular” stainless steel? Does Surgical Steel contain less nickel than stainless steel?
Does Surgical Steel Contain Less Nickel?
Since nickel is one of the main reasons for allergies and other troubles with body jewelry, it makes sense to wonder about the nickel content in your jewelry. As you probably know, steel as a material does contain some tiny amounts of nickel. However, different types of steel vary in this nickel content.
One of the best things about Surgical steel is that it treats nickel differently than other types of steel. Surgical Steel contain less nickel, but that is not all. The way the nickel is inside of the material is also important. With high-quality types of Surgical Steel, nickel and other alloys are “trapped” inside of the material so they cannot go to the surface. It means that your body does not really come in contact with the nickel in these steel materials.
The best qualities of steel to use for body jewelry are 316L and 316LVM Surgical Steel. These materials are low-carbon variations of Surgical Steel. The alloys in these steels are trapped inside of the material through a special process. These alloys, including the nickel, cannot be released from the material.
When it comes to percentages of nickel, different manufacturers have different values. Generally speaking, the highest quality of Surgical Steel will only contain from 8 to 15 percentage of nickel.
In other words: yes, the best Surgical Steel contain less nickel than regular stainless steel. This is one of the reasons why it is a safer body jewelry material. However, less percentages of nickel are not the only good thing about Surgical Steel. The best types of Surgical Steel also have alloys trapped inside of the material so this provides extra safety.
Is it Ever OK to Use Stainless Steel?
While it is always best to use high-quality Surgical Steel for body jewelry. However, it is possible to use surgical steel jewelry in some situations. Basically, it all depends on your body. Some people are more resistant than the others. If you do not have a nickel allergy, you may try stainless steel.
More sensitive persons are highly advised to only use highest grades of Surgical Steel and, if this is not enough, to switch to titanium. Titanium is a hypo-allergenic material so it is ideal for people with allergies.
Those who might be okay with lower grades of Surgical Steel or even with stainless steel should only use these materials for the old, well-established piercings. Never use stainless steel for new piercings in healing! It is important to minimize any risks of infections, allergies and other problems. Using only high-quality materials that are safe for the body is important. This is why it is so crucial to mainly use Surgical Steel jewelry instead of regular stainless steel.
Donna Carlson is a staff writer for TheChainGang. She combines her love for body piercings with adult fun, such as sex toys, BDSM and other forms of pleasure. She says: “Piercings and sex toys often complement each other in the most sensual ways. I am happy to help you discover new ways to pleasure yourself and your partner. With a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to enhance their love life. And with a bit of courage, anyone can enjoy body piercings”. In addition to intimate piercings and adult toys, Donna also writes about body jewelry and other piercing adornments.