Body Piercing: Safe Jewelry Choices - Topic Overview
Appropriate jewelry for body piercing sites
Is removable. If you have your mouth pierced and
you use oral jewelry, make sure it can be removed. For example, you should be
able to unscrew the ball on one end of a barbell-shaped device to make the
device easy to insert and take out.
Allows for full cleaning of the
piercing site. Ear studs or other jewelry designed for the ears are not
appropriate for other body sites. Other body sites are hard to clean or may easily tear or snag if you use jewelry designed for the ear in them.
Is smoothly polished, free of nicks, scratches, or jagged
surfaces that might damage the skin. The back of an earring can pinch and
damage tissue when used in places other than the earlobe. Backs of earrings are
not smooth enough to prevent skin and tissue damage.
Is the right
thickness for the body site being pierced.
Jewelry that is too thin can act like a
"cheese cutter" and tear right through the skin. The thickness of the average
ear stud is 16- to 20-gauge, which is too small for most other body piercing
Jewelry that is too thick for the site can cause an
abscess, a cyst, or scar tissue
Jewelry that is too large can easily catch on
Jewelry that is too small can be "sucked" into the body
Is made from metals that do not cause allergic
reactions. Only use nonallergenic jewelry. Surgical stainless steel, gold,
platinum, niobium, and titanium are the only types of jewelry you should use in a new
piercing. Do not use nickel or brass-plated jewelry.
before it is put into the piercing site. Choose jewelry that has not been used
or worn or that has been sterilized in an autoclave.