Body Piercing 101: Best and Worst Metals


There are several metals that are safe for body piercing and others that aren’t. The wrong type of metal can stall the body’s healing process or cause an allergic reaction. Nickel is a common culprit for skin irritation, and it is typically used in both inexpensive and expensive metals. Even the smallest quantity of nickel can cause the skin to turn black, green, or another colour.

Here at Body Shock, we have only the highest quality of body piercing jewellery, ensuring that piercings can heal quickly and safely. So, what are the best metals for body piercing?


Stainless Steel (surgical)

Low-carbon surgical stainless steel is ideal for body piercing as, even though they contain alloys, these are trapped in the metal through a special process and aren’t released. 316L and 316LVM are the only types that are body-friendly. Surgical stainless steel is often a good choice for people with allergies, except in cases in which people have hypersensitivity. In this case, titanium should be used.

Titanium (surgical)

Titanium is a great metal for initial piercings; it’s comfortable due to being lightweight and it’s body-friendly because it barely contains nickel. This metal is very strong and highly resistant to sea water corrosion. Extremely hypoallergenic, it’s also easily shaped into jewellery styles that can range from curved piercings to other designs.


Being a low toxicity material, niobium is also soft and malleable. As it is hypoallergenic, it’s a perfect choice for people who usually have allergic reactions or suffer from irritation caused by piercings. Niobium is similar to titanium but it’s heavier and softer; it also doesn’t react to cleaning agents, oxygen, or bodily fluids.


Aztec Gold (PVD)

Also known as PVD, Aztec gold doesn’t discolour or react with the body. It’s a lightweight material that can easily replace gold to avoid allergies but copy the stunning colour. Aztec gold can be a stunning choice for piercings, particularly for facial piercings that work in conjunction with other ones – such as a septum piercing and a nose piercing.


Although not a metal, tygon is a plastic material that is typically used when there are extreme allergies to metals. It’s also an advisable material for pregnant women with navel piercings, in which the latter should be removed and replaced with a tygon piercing.

Metals to Avoid

Sterling Silver has an oxidation property that makes it harmful as a body piercing, particularly when a piercing is healing. Iron not only rusts easily but also reacts very easily and can cause severe reactions. Plated Gold flakes off and exposes the inner metal, which can cause a big problem if the metal isn’t inert. Low-grade metals such as copper, nickel, tin, zinc, and brass aren’t proper choices for body piercings. They can cause allergic reactions and infections, or even cause the body to completely reject the piercing.

It’s always best to keep to safe metals to ensure proper healing. Get your body piercing supplies here at Body Shock for the highest quality of metals. Get in touch with our team to know more about our products – we’re always happy to help!