Body jewellery has the ability to give an eye-catching, stunning and unique look. But whether you are looking at nose studs, labret studs or more exotic body jewellery, safety should be a priority. Cheap throwaway jewellery can irritate the skin, harbour bacteria and even release harmful impurities into the bloodstream. It is important to understand which metals are safe for your body jewellery.
You may think of gold, being an expensive quality metal, as being a safe metal for body jewellery for piercings. However, a lower purity that 14 or 18 carat is not safe. Nose studs, nose rings, labret studs and other body jewellery which are sold as gold without stating they are 14 or 18 ct are likely to be a low purity and should not be used in piercings because they will be mixed with a higher percentage of alloys such as zinc, nickel and other irritants. Gold plated jewellery should also not be used in piercings because the metal is relatively soft and easily scratched, and damage to the body jewellery will expose the poor quality metal under the gold which is then exposed to the blood stream. In short, if you want gold tongue bars, labret studs or nose studs, ensure you are choosing quality 14 or 18 ct yellow or white gold.
Although expensive, platinum is the perfect metal for piercings. It does not oxidise, tarnish or discolour and it is very durable, making it resistant to wear and bodily fluids (particularly useful for tongue or labret studs). Platinum body jewellery also does not cause any allergic reactions and will not blacken in piercings, and it wont be affected by chlorine, perfumes and acids. If you can afford it, it is advisable to opt for platinum body jewellery.
Silver is not a suitable metal for body jewellery due to its ability to oxidise on contact with blood, sweat and other body fluids. When silver oxidises it releases nickel which can cause severe allergies and discolour the skin permanently. Regular silver jewellery is fine if you are not allergic to it, but silver body jewellery designed for piercings such as nose studs, nose rings, labret studs or belly bars are not safe.
Bioflex is a medical grade plastic intended for prolonged contact with the skin. Often found as the post in labret studs, Bioflex offers a completely safe material which is ideal for holding a ball in place in labret studs. It does not offer the appearance of precious metals, but when found as the post in labred studs it is a subtle way to hold a precious metal encased gem stone in place. In addition to this, Bioflex is a cheaper material than gold or platinum, making Bioflex labret studs an affordable option.