Body jewelry has been designed to be secure in the piercing. Sleepers are NOT suitable. They may open within the piercing, damaging the tissues and causing a great deal of discomfort. No jewelry designed to be worn in the ear is suitable for any other location.
The standard style, the Captive Ball ring, is an open circle of metal which is spread to allow a drilled ball to be tightly gripped by the opening. Variations substitute ornamental beads, rods, coils, gems and semi-precious stones for the ball. Bars (barbells) consist of a straight or curved wire with threaded ends. A ball is screwed on each end of the bar. Both styles are often varied to include pendants.
There are two aspects to ring size: gauge or thickness, and length or diameter.
- The gauge is determined as a minimum thickness required for the tissue being pierced. If the wire is too thin, it will have a tendency to bruise or to cut the supporting tissues. (For example, check out this Swollen Tongue.)
- The length or diameter is determined by the location and the length of the piercing. The physical size of the jewelry must be chosen to provide a proper and comfortable fit. If necessary, measure the length and depth of the piercing. Sizing is a bit of an art, Just remember that the jewelry must be able to fit all the way through without constricting the tissues, and you will be all right.
Body jewelry is fabricated using high grade Surgical Steel (316 LVM Stainless Steel) in any part of the jewelry coming in contact with the interior of the piercing. Plated or coloured metal (with the exception of Niobium ), sterling silver, and gold under 16 carat should be avoided, particularly in locations with a tendency to become moist.
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