While getting a piercing done one of the major concerns faced is an allergic reaction to certain metals. Intrusive metal jewellery into our skin is a foreign body which the body will initially try to repel if it is not hypoallergenic. This could manifest itself in the form of metal hyper sensitivity. So it’s recommended to reduce prolonged exposure of such metals to the skin and it is best to avoid it completely.
While nickel is the most common allergy, other metals like surgical steel and copper can cause allergies too. A nickel allergy will usually result in localized swelling, irritation, redness or itchiness. In most cases the reaction is similar to dermatitis due to the fact that the contact is with the skin. People with extra sensitive skin must use an antibiotic cream or ointment before and after inserting the piercing. They must remove the jewellery at night giving the skin time to recover. For many individuals, an allergy will show up within a few hours of putting in the earrings. If the symptoms of a new swelling do not decrease within a reasonable amount of time or get worse over time, make sure you get medical attention.
When this happens it discourages people from wearing jewellery or getting themselves pierced. One way to avoid allergic reactions is to figure out which metals you are allergic to and avoid using them as piercing tools or as jewellery. Since it is not practical to test every metal to look for allergic reactions, the best alternative is to use jewellery and piercing tools made of only hypoallergenic metals.
Hypoallergenic, meaning “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic is a term used to describe items that cause fewer allergic reactions or no reactions at all in most cases. Hypoallergenic metals do not irritate the skin and are considered inert as far as interacting with your skin is concerned.
Metals which are considered hypoallergenic are
- Pure gold
- Surgical steel
Hypoallergenic metals are usually pure metals and hence are not prone to cause negative reactions with human body tissue. There are a lot of jewels and instruments out there which claim to be made of pure metals and hypoallergenic but they are just alloys coated with silver, gold or other hypoallergenic metals. So it is best to invest in tools and jewellery from a trusted brand which can provide you assurance of its claims.
Hypoallergenic jewellery is a boon to jewellery lovers. It offers them the aesthetic benefits of accessorizing without the dreaded fear of developing an allergic reaction.