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Thread: Surgical steel vs. Titanium?

  1. #1

    Default Surgical steel vs. Titanium?

    I definitely read in quite a few threads on here the down sides to surgical steel, and that titanium was better but I forgot which threads they were and my search didn't find what I was looking for. The piercing studio I plan on going to uses "grade 316lvm" surgical steel. It's the best piercing studio in my state I think and my mom and I plan on driving over an hour to get there. All of the reviews on its facebook page gave 5 stars and the guy is very professional (some background info: he's certified in first aid, CPR, blood pathogens, OSHA sterilization monitoring, infection control programs, and "many health, safety, and education programs"). Anyway, is the only bad thing about surgical steel the nickel inside? When I got my lobes pierced at the doctor's I had surgical steel studs and they healed fine, so I'm pretty sure I'm not allergic to nickel. I don't think I've ever had a allergic reaction to metal in my life. Thanks guys!
    Last edited by stephhuang; 08-21-2011 at 01:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sunnyx's Avatar
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    You can get very high grades of steel that don't pose a risk when it comes to allergies... but I'm not very familiar with the system they use to grade things.

    It's one thing saying "My other piercings healed well with steel" but you can develop an allergy over time, and if that happens in a new piercing the jewellery needs to come out asap :/ So titanium would be best, if not you could always ask if they'll use bioplast or something similar?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member insideout's Avatar
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    If you're in America it's fairly common for piercers to use steel. Implant grade steel is "316LVM ASTM F-138", whereas "316L" is basic cheap steel. Most people will be perfectly fine with implant grade steel.

  4. #4

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    C) AGAIN, IT IS ILLEGAL TO PIERCE WITH ANYTHING BUT TITANIUM OR SURGICAL STEEL 316 LVMF 138.

    This has come from one of the body jewellery sellers facebook from my town, Im unsure wether that matches to yours properly or not? But I'd do with titanium tbh.
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  5. #5
    Awesome Admin Boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zetsuboukatie View Post
    C) AGAIN, IT IS ILLEGAL TO PIERCE WITH ANYTHING BUT TITANIUM OR SURGICAL STEEL 316 LVMF 138.

    This has come from one of the body jewellery sellers facebook from my town, Im unsure wether that matches to yours properly or not? But I'd do with titanium tbh.
    As mentioned above it's not illegal in the states. The directive of the use of nickel in fresh piercings is an EU one shown here. Sadly several UK piercers use 316L steel anyway. The implant grade steel won't really be used much here as I believe it's often more expensive than Ti anyway, goes by the name of implantanium, has 0.05% nickle by mass and complies with the EU directive. Any good piercer will just use Ti or PTFE end of.
    Piercings: 6 lobes, 2 12mm stretched lobes, 4 helices, 3 tragus, daith, 2 nostril, 2.4mm VCH, 2.4mm daith
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Drynwhyl's Avatar
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    Well 316lvm is good, if it was just 316l I wouldn't use it. If you had actual allergies you'd probably know by now.
    I'm the most sensitive-skinned person I know, I get horrible rashes from metal belt buckles and the like, but I heal great with quality steel (can't handle cheap steel in fresh holes though)
    I wouldn't worry!

    26mm both lobes, 6mm second lobes, 6mm left inner conch, 8mm septum, 2.4mm inner labia, 1.6mm nipples, 1.2mm nostril
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  7. #7
    Senior Member spankygurrl's Avatar
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    Yeah surgical steel (well just steel) is legal to use in the US. Surgical steel is fine and yes the only bad thing is the possibility of an allergic reaction. If you feel you may be sensitive to nickel, you could always call the shop, let them know you have the sensitivity, and ask if they have titanium or could bring in titanium to be pierced with. Unfortunately a lot of shops won't let you bring anything in due to not being able to verify the quality of the jewelry (also some won't because then they can't sell you theirs.)

    Titanium, as long as it's not plated or a plating, is always better than steel as there is no risk to the nickel sensitivity. It is also lighter, so if you are having a large gauge initial piercing, it'll heal better without the weight.
    Piercings: Same on both ears - 8g 1st lobes, 12g 2nd lobes, 14g conches, 16g rooks, 16g anti-tragus
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Hannah12's Avatar
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    I had my all my lobe piercings done with surgical steel as the initial jewellery, they healed fine. But when it came to wearing surgical steel in my navel, it flared up. So I've obviously developed an allergy to nickel! Titanium is always safer, but if you really can't get anything other than surgical steel, give it a try. Just keep an eye on the piercing and go back to your piercer if you suffer prolonged irritation.
    Current Piercings - Both lobes 8mm, second and third in lobes, left nostril, left helix, smiley

    Retired/Rejected -Auricle X2, left conch, navel

    Piercings I want - Lower left lip, right conch, right rook, left daith

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