Essential Ink: Be Aware of Metals Used in Piercing

Advertorial supplement: Essential Ink Body Art is not just a tattoo studio; it's a body piercing studio as well. Those of you who have...

Advertorial supplement:

Essential Ink Body Art is not just a tattoo studio; it's a body piercing studio as well. Those of you who have been pierced or maybe are looking to get a piercing already know how important it is to go to a reputable studio. It must be one that not only has the best sterilization practices but also has a body piercer who understands everything from anatomy to first aid/wound care but also the appropriate metal that should be used for the initial piercing.

When considering a piercing, you need to know your body. Are you someone who has allergies to metal?

How would I know if I have an allergy, you ask? Well, its simple. Have you ever worn cheap costume jewelry from the mall and had your earlobes itch, swell and/or get red and irritated? If so, you have a metal allergy. You are most likely having a reaction to the nickel that is present.

Even though at the very least, body piercing studios should be using surgical steel for your initial piercing, there are still trace elements of nickel present. So what are your options if you in fact are allergic to nickel?

How about trying something in titanium? This is a lightweight metal that is ideal for people with concerns about nickel sensitivity. Look for implant certified titanium (Ti6Al4V ELI) that is ASTM F136 compliant or ISO 5832-3 compliant. Feel free to ask the body piercer what kind of titanium they are using. If they say "Grade 23", RUN out the door. Or if they shrug their shoulders and look lost, run out the door.

Many shops purchase low grade titanium in an effort to keep costs down. Don't let cost sway your decision in getting a safe piece of jewelry. Grade 23 titanium is a commerical grade metal used on ships and other industrial structures. It is NOT bio-compatible. If the titanium piece you are about to purchase seems a little too affordable, question it!

If you are feeling a bit fancy and want to start your piercing with gold, make sure it is 14K gold to start. 18K and 20K gold is too soft for the initial piercing; you can change out to that later after your piercing is healed. Most gold pieces can be special ordered at Essential Ink with a relatively small turnaround time.

Gold jewelry needs to be solid gold, not gold plated or gold toned. So many people come to the shop looking to start off with gold and are shocked when the price is high. Having something "gold toned" vs. actually being made of gold are two different things. Gold per ounce is pretty high right now, so the retail price is going to be up there, but totally worth it if you care about the outcome of your piercing.

You wouldn't think twice about wearing gold in your earlobes. Other body piercings are no different. For more information on this subject and other piercing topics, visit the blog posts on the shop website at and look for the Piercer's Corner.

Essential Ink
25377 Madison Avenue, #103
Murrieta, CA (Madison Marketplace on same side as NC3 gym and Subway.)

12-8 p.m., Monday through Saturday
1-6 p.m. Sunday

Phone: (951) 304-7825

Website: Essential Ink
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