Surgical steel earrings are the number one hypo-allergenic choice for sensitive pierced ears. Free from lead, nickel and latex, surgical steel is the best option when purchasing earrings or considering an ear piercing. Greater numbers of Americans are discovering that they have sensitive skin after experiencing painful side effects due to purchasing and wearing earrings constructed from tainted or cheaper metals. The relatively low cost of stainless steel ensures that there are suitable styles for every budget.
What is Surgical Steel?
Surgical steel is a composite of chromium, molybdenum and nickel. It is a specific subset of stainless steel that is most commonly used for the creation of medical equipment. The chromium aspect of the metal resists corrosion from water and exposure to air, and also helps to protect against scratches. The nickel adds to the aesthetic appearance of the metal, granting it a reflective coating. The molybdenum is a hard metal which adds to the strength of the composite, especially important for medical tools. Surgical steel has many benefits over other metals: it is easy to keep clean, and sterilization is a quick and simple process.
Why Use It For Earrings?
Jewelery makers worldwide are faced with a common problem: the fact that many people have sensitive skin and experience redness and discomfort if nickel-based earrings are worn. The side-effects that can occur after wearing nickel earrings range in severity. Mild side-effects include a greenish tint to the skin around the piercing, redness and irritation, general soreness and itchiness. The ear could feel hot and uncomfortable to the touch. Moderate effects could include a more serious irritation, leading to soreness and scratching. This has the potentially serious side effect of getting infected, a painful and prolonged experience where pus is produced at the site of infection. This condition requires antibiotics to remedy. It is clear why some people prefer to err on the side of caution and choose surgical steel earrings as their jewelery of choice.
What Range of Choices are Available?
In recent years, jewelers have embraced working with surgical steel. The hardness and scratch-resistance of the metal alloy leads to a lustrous silvery metallic finish that doesn’t fade with time. There are as many design options for surgical steel as there would be for gold, sterling silver or nickel. Hoops, open hoops, studs and pendant earrings created from surgical steel are available in both brick-and-mortar and online jewelery outlets. There are also many surgical steel designs which incorporate both CZ stones and diamonds. Surgical steel ‘sleeper-studs’ are also an excellent choice for a first piercing, which must be kept in and rotated daily for a minimum of six weeks after piercing. The piercing is most vulnerable to infection during these first early weeks, so it’s vital to choose a stud which is guaranteed to avoid irritating the raw skin.
Cleaning Your Earrings
Surgical steel is exceptionally easy to clean. Jewelers recommend that earrings are cleaned at least once a week, including the backs. Immerse the earrings in a saline solution (available for purchase at any drug store) and leave them in this ‘bath’ for at least five minutes. Remove the earrings and allow them to dry on a paper towel before re-insertion.