There are several metals commonly used for body jewelry. They are considered safe and body-friendly.
What about other materials? The most popular ones include Surgical Steel and Titanium. In order to choose the best jewelry and ensure your safety it’s vital to know the advantages and potential disadvantages of each.
Surgical Steel as a Body Jewelry Material
Surgical Steel is one of the most popular body jewelry materials. Surgical Steel is a type of stainless steel with specific alloys. Some of these alloys include nickel, which is why generic stainless steel should not be used for jewelry.
In order to produce body-friendly material that can be used for body jewelry and implants, steel has to be treated in specific ways. What is colloquially known as Surgical Steel is a material with specific alloys and properties. There are many different grades of Surgical Steel but only a few are body-friendly and suitable for body jewelry.
The only body-friendly grades are 316L and 316LVM Surgical Steel. These are low-carbon Surgical Steel materials. They do contain alloys, however, the alloys are trapped inside the material through special process so they cannot be released from the metal. It means that even if a person suffers from allergies to some of alloys there is no problem since there is no release of alloys.
In order to achieve this, it’s vital to only use jewelry made of body-friendly Surgical Steel: 316L and 316LVM Surgical Steel. Out of the two, 316LVM is a superior material and recommended for body jewelry. It offers more protection and safety than the cheaper 316L Surgical Steel. That’s why 316LVM Surgical Steel is considered medical-grade and the top quality steel material for body jewelry.
This material works for a large majority of users, save for people who suffer from hypersensitivity. Luckily, those people have a few more options to get beautiful body jewelry for themselves.
Titanium and Niobium: Ideal for Hypersensitive Users
Those with hypersensitivity issues should use titanium instead of Surgical Steel. Also, titanium is a preferred material for initial piercings, though it’s not mandatory: most people do well with medical-grade Surgical Steel even for initial jewelry. If you have hypersensitivity problems, however, you should try titanium instead.
Titanium is a body-friendly material because it’s an elemental metal – it doesn’t contain nickel. While certain grades do contain a small percentage of alloys, those are low and, most important, biocompatible. This is why titanium is a perfect choice for people with hypersensitivity. The most popular and body-friendly is grade 23 titanium. This is a great body jewelry material.
A good alternative to titanium is niobium. This is another elemental metal and it doesn’t contain any alloys. It makes it ideal for people who are hypersensitive. It can also be anodized to produce many lovely colors, which is a great advantage for body jewelry. One downside is that niobium is relatively heavy and it’s still not such a popular jewelry material so niobium jewelry choice is somewhat limited.