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High Quality? Part 6 – Initial Vs Healed

Initial Vs healed? The jewellery used for a piercing to heal around needs to be a much higher quality than the jewellery that can be worn in a healed piercing. An initial piercing is an open wound and is a very different environment to a healed piercing. Blood contact and healing cells create a different pH range to healed skin as well as being much easier to become irritated. At Rogue we recommend that a high quality piece of jewellery is worn for both healed and initial piercings so that there isn’t the chance of damaging a piercing at any stage.

Initial

We take the standards and recommendations for initial jewellery from surgical implant specifications e.g. pacemakers. The medical industry has spent vast amounts of money to prove that materials and products are safe to be implanted in the body.

Initial jewellery must be made from implant grade or historically proven safe materials. This leaves us with a few grades of Titanium, Steel, Niobium, Gold and Glass. Some people may be fine with other materials or lower standards but as we want all our customers to be happy at Rogue, this is the range we start with.

A butterfly clasp full of blood and body fluid from an initial piercing – image courtesy of Anna Richardson at Silver Lining Piercing

The surface finish and general design must be free from scratches and dents, sharp faces and places where body fluids and blood could build up. The traditional butterfly back earring is not recommended for initial wear because fluids can build up in the clasp mechanism and when these start to break down it can cause infections.

Any gems that are set into the jewellery should be mechanically set (material holds them in place) rather than using any glues. As well as being a more secure method so that gems will not fall out, this also means there are no glues that anyone could have a reaction too. Glues and solvents are not safe for the body and especially not in an open wound.

The wearable section of the jewellery (the part that sits inside the body) should also be a smooth, uniform profile. There should be no steps or bumps as this could damage the piercing channel during insertion or removal. This is the reason that external threaded jewellery is frowned upon and shouldn’t be used for initial piercing. A t Rogue we don’t offer any externally threaded jewellery, healed of initial.

Initial jewellery should be non-porous so that blood and body fluids can’t soak into the material, break down and cause infections. This is why wood, bone and most organic materials are not used for initial piercing.

Healed

Initial Vs Healed - Neometal Threadless labret Post
A Neometal labret stud has a smooth profile and high polish so as to not irritate the piercing channel and not allow build up of blood or body fluid

Healed jewellery can be made of lower quality material as there should no longer be blood contact but their will still be dead skin cells, sweat and skin oils building up in a piercing channel. Some materials such as woods can absorb the oil and help minimise smell but the best method to minimise smell is to just use regular soap and water and have a good hygiene regimen in the bath or shower. Most jewellery can be left in place during bathing but large gauge jewellery such as stretched lobes is recommended to be removed to clean. Your piercer will tell you if jewellery needs to be removed for cleaning. If they don’t mention removal then it is generally accepted that jewellery should be left in place.

Healed jewellery can have changes in profile and a lower surface finish but at Rogue we recommend sticking to a higher quality to ensure the piercing doesn’t become damaged. Much like smoking, the damage being done inside is slow to happen and may take years to show. If lower quality jewellery is worn then we recommend to at least keep it to short term wear (8 hours) so minimise damage. An example of this would be wearing Brass weights for an evening for a special event and then removing them before bed.

You should now be able to tell if jewellery is suitable for Initial Vs healed, but if you are unsure about any of this then have a chat with your piercer and they will be more than happy to guide you through the vast selection for body jewellery that is available.

Next week’s blog will be all about gemstones! It’s time to get fancy and learn about cuts, grades and colours!

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