Like being allergic to hay, or gluten, a lot of people are allergic to body jewelry. Per some estimates, up to 28% of the entire American population have such allergies, meaning you’ve most likely come across someone who’s allergic to body jewelry at one point or the other
But that’s not abnormal. Being allergic to body jewelry is just one of the very many ‘kinks’ that can come naturally with life. In fact, chances are high that you’re allergic to a certain substance; you just haven’t been exposed to it yet.
For people who are allergic to body jewelry, there’s hope, in the form of hypoallergenic body jewelry.
What does hypoallergenic mean
Put simply hypoallergenic jewelry pieces are inert. That is, under normal circumstances, they won’t react with your skin to cause allergic reactions. Allergenicity results because of the presence of certain allergic materials or ‘allergens’ like nickel, stainless steel, or copper. Hypoallergenic jewelry pieces do not contain these allergenic materials.
Types of hypoallergenic body jewelry
Hypoallergenic jewelry comes in various shapes and sizes. The most common ones, however, are those fashioned from;
In the hypoallergenic jewelry hierarchy, titanium ranks very high (if not highest), and that’s because it’s, one of the most inert materials used in making body jewelry. Asides from being hypoallergenic, titanium is also preferred because it is very durable, can be polished to a mirror finish, or if you like anodized into sparklingly attractive colors.
All this, however, comes at a cost, literally. Titanium is one of the most expensive jewelry making materials.
Unlike the other hypoallergenic materials outlined here, Niobium is a pure metal, not an alloy. This characteristic confers additional rigidity, tensile strength, and inertness to niobium. It is at least one tier higher than implant grade steel in the low reactivity ranking. Also, it’s more aesthetically pleasing with several color options.
- Implant grade steel
Implant grade steel is like titanium it’s practically inert. The L in the name indicates that this type of steel has a low carbon content; the VM tells you that it was vacuum melted. So, unlike the stainless steel used in crafting your kitchen utensil, 316LVM ASTM implant grade steel is resistant to corrosion, free from nickel impurities and certainly hypoallergenic.
AKA polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) is an inert, durable, flexible and notably smooth material generally used for temporary and permanent surgical procedures. In the body jewelry industry, PTFE doubles as a completely hypoallergenic material that unlike the rest is cheap. The best pasty is that it comes in a variety of colors.
- Finally Glass
If you want a cheap durable and hypoallergenic body jewelry that unlike bio-plast is available in several style configurations, then glass is just what the doctor (read; piercing artist) ordered. Glass is also very easy to maintain and for added effect can be worn as ‘invisible’ jewelry.
That rounds up our list of hypoallergenic body jewelry pieces, stick with these, and there’s practically no risk of developing an allergic reaction.