Let’s face it, while we are all trying to save a dollar here or there, there are definitely things that we shouldn’t be cheap with.
One of these things is definitely body jewelry.
Photo courtesy of Eddy Van 3000
While it may seem like everyone is selling their own version of the perfect barbell or captive ring, I can assure you that there is definitely a difference between quality and quantity when it comes to choosing high quality body jewelry for you and your body piercing. Remember, there is a difference between getting a good deal and buying body jewelry that really shouldn’t be considered for use in the human body.
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There are of course many reasons you shouldn’t buy cheap body jewelry, but we’ll focus on the top 10 reasons you shouldn’t buy inexpensive body jewelry.
1.) They may not be the right fit for your piercing.
Cheap body jewelry is more often than not perfectly sized. While you may be looking for a 14 gauge barbell, a company mass-producing body jewelry isn’t going to have time to ensure that every single piece of jewelry will be the exact size you need. This will lead to problems with fit, and can cause issues with rubbing on your piercing.
It’s best to just stick with a brand you know, or if you’re unsure of where to get the perfect fit, get in touch with your piercer for jewelry and sizing suggestions.
2.) The threading may be off.
The threading inside of body jewelry is important to keep the balls or ends snugly on barbells. If the threading is off at all, you may lose balls at the end of your jewelry, which means you’re going to have to buy replacement balls or a new piece of jewelry.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Rosen
3.) There may be rough burrs of metal.
Rarely do companies who make cheap body jewelry ensure that each piece is held to a higher standard. This means that there may be rough burrs of metal still on that barbell or captive ring that you bought. The major reason this is a problem is because it can irritate the sensitive skin around your piercing or increase the risk of infection
4.) The cheap metal can irritate the skin.
Cheap metals aren’t good for any jewelry, this can be seen when a ring turns your skin different colors. But, imagine this same problem happening with your new piercing. Cheap metals that aren’t surgical grade can cause irritation or even infection. Make sure you know whether or not your jewelry is going to cause problems with your skin before you buy it, especially if you have sensitivity to metal.
5.) Cheap plastics can irritate the skin.
Cheap plastic can also cause problems, especially as the jewelry bends and warps with your movements. A lower quality plastic can increase the risk of pulling and may cause micro-tears in your piercing. If you must use plastic jewelry, make sure that you’re buying something for the quality, rather than the quantity available in body jewelry packs.
6.) Plated metal.
Plated metal may work at first, but as it ages, the plating will wear away. The major problem with plated metal in piercings is that you may start out just fine, but a month or two down the road your skin may become inflamed or irritated. This, just like cheap metals, can lead to infection, especially in a newer piercing.
7.) Increases the risk of infection.
As it’s been stated above, cheap body jewelry can increase the risk of infection, especially when you’re changing out the jewelry in your new piercing. Remember, the lower the quality, the harder it is to maintain the proper balance of hygiene with piercings.
8.) Increases the risk of rejection.
While this is less likely, rejection of the jewelry is also a concern. If the body finds that the jewelry is too much of an irritant, it may “push” the jewelry out, this is especially the case with cheap dermal implants.
9.) They aren’t sterilized.
Most cheap jewelry that you will buy will not have been sterilized before packaging. If you insist on purchasing cheap quality jewelry, make sure you clean body jewelry thoroughly with rubbing alcohol before you put it in or look.
10.) They don’t last.
Just like any other product on the market that you buy at a cheap price, cheap body jewelry just doesn’t last like it should. The stainless steel or titanium jewelry you can get through your piercer should last several years. However, buying jewelry online or at a random retail store may not last as long, meaning you’ll pay more in the long run.