Body Jewelry – Internally Threaded Vs. Externally Threaded Jewelry

Piercing jewelry

If you’re fond of wearing body jewelry, you must have often come across the terms, ‘internally threaded’ and ‘externally threaded’. You may have overlooked this little detail but it’s actually crucial to know the difference between the two.

So, what do these terms mean? Let’s find out.

Threaded Jewelry

Body jewelry can be broadly classified into threaded and unthreaded jewelry. Unthreaded jewelry basically doesn’t involve screwing a ball end into a shaft once you have inserted the shaft into your piercing. It can include things like captive rings, certain labret studs, hinged rings, hoop earrings, and more.

Threaded jewelry has an end ball, also called the decorative end or the post, that screws on and off. It includes straight barbells, curved barbells, circular barbells, and all other kinds of barbells that have screw-on ends.

The Difference between Internally Threaded Jewelry and External Threaded Jewelry

When we talk about threaded jewelry, there are two patterns you can choose from: internally or externally threaded. Externally threaded jewelry is commonly seen among barbell-style body jewelry. In this type of jewelry, the screw pattern goes through the piercing, and then the ball end is screwed into its place.

On the contrary, in internally threaded jewelry, there’s a threaded hole inside the ball end of the barbell. So, the shaft that passes through the piercing is smooth. The ball is inserted onto it and screwed into place.

Which Thread Pattern is Better?

Internally threaded body jewelry definitely has an advantage over externally threaded jewelry. With an external thread pattern, the coarse threads have to pass through the piercing when inserting or removing the jewelry. This can tear or damage the skin around the piercing, especially if it’s a new piercing.

Not to mention, these exposed threads can collect bacteria as they pass through the piercing, which then stays in contact with the skin. This can possibly lead to infections.

Externally threaded body jewelry is best worn on well-healed piercings. If you wear it before the piercing has healed, you run the risk of getting all kinds of pesky bumps or keloids that can disrupt the process of healing. In worst cases, you might have to let go of the piercing.

Internally threaded jewelry avoids any risk of scraping your skin with sharp threads, which is especially important with new piercings. They pass through the piercing smoothly without irritating it or aggravating the pain.

The manufacturing process for internally threaded jewelry is a bit more complicated. This makes it understandable that internally threaded jewelry is expensive when compared to externally threaded jewelry. However, it will ultimately cost you less if you put your health and comfort first.

To Sum Up

Now that you know the difference between internally threaded jewelry and externally threaded jewelry, you will be able to decide which one is better for your piercings. When you have to make a choice between the two, the first thing to consider is the freshness of your piercing. Internal threading is gentle on new piercings, whereas external threading is suitable for piercings that have healed completely.