Is Titanium Good for Piercings? Why Experts Prefer It Over Other Metals

Is Titanium Good for Piercings? Why Experts Prefer It Over Other Metals

Whether you’re considering piercings for the first time, or you’re looking to avoid repeating painful mistakes, this article on whether titanium is good for piercings is for you. 

It’s likely that you might have some questions, or confusions to clear up, and by reading on you will learn:

Why titanium is the safest and most reliable metal for your piercings.

How to decode the jargon of piercing materials with ease.

Effective aftercare strategies to protect your health and enhance healing.

To begin with, we’ll provide an overview of some fundamentals of body piercing, to better understand what actually happens when things go wrong.

Choosing the Right Body Piercing Material

When it comes to body piercings, the wrong choice can lead to a host of unwanted outcomes, from minor irritations to serious infections or allergic reactions. 

Broadly, you can look at two fundamental problem sources. 


Infections are often the result of bacteria entering the piercing site during or after the procedure. 

Naturally, piercings introduce foreign objects into your body, and your skin's reaction can respond in a variety of different ways.  

But how does the piercing material actually impact skin infections?

The answer is quite simple: porosity.  

Porous materials, due to their inherent structure, catch bacteria more easily and are harder to clean, making them less than ideal material to insert in the human body.  

Non-porous materials like titanium, on the other hand, are naturally less likely to harbour bacteria.  Provided that the piercing is sterilised, the changes of infection are infinitely reduced.  


The root of most allergic reactions to piercings, however, is the immune system's response to certain metals found in the jewellery. 

This is where we look at common culprits like nickel, cobalt, and chromium, which can be present in many alloys used in cheaper jewellery. 

When these metals come into contact with your skin, they can leach ions that trigger an immune response, leading to symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching. 

Looking at titanium, you’ll realise that it is particularly valued for its inert properties.  

This means that it is highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions to your body because, at its core, it’s a material that does not easily participate in chemical reactions with other substances.

Next, we'll take a special look at titanium and its unique properties, which stand out as a superior choice for those looking to minimise these risks.

Why Is Titanium Good for Piercings

Titanium is not merely a choice, but the body piercing gold standard for its health, durability, and aesthetic qualities. 

To better understand exactly why and how titanium elevates over other common materials like stainless steel, gold, plastic, silver, and sterling silver, we will look at four key dimensions, starting with bio-compatibility.

Titanium’s Bio-compatibility

We touched upon it earlier, but in principle bio-compatibility refers to a material's ability to interact with human tissue without causing adverse reactions. 

The standards for bio-compatible products are often set by medical and regulatory bodies, such as the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which ensure that materials like titanium meet stringent safety criteria for human use.

Titanium’s atomic structure doesn't react chemically with the body, making it incredibly bio-compatible. 

The reason lies in its oxide layer, which acts as a protective barrier and prevents small particles called ions from releasing into the body. Ions, due to their electric charge, are known in the jewellery sector for triggering reactions.

Additionally, titanium surpasses other metals in bio-compatibility due to its lack of impurities typically found in alloys. 

This quality significantly reduces the risks associated with infections and allergies. 

Be warned, however, because not all titanium is created equal.  

A Spotlight on ASTM F67

More specifically, ASTM F67 is a standard specification for unalloyed titanium, which includes four grades designated as Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

These grades are used primarily for surgical implant applications due to their biocompatibility, chemical, and mechanical properties.

In particular, Grade 2 (UNS R50400) offers a good balance between strength and ductility. It is the most commonly used grade for surgical implants due to its good combination of strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance.

Grades 5 and above, which include alloys, may contain other metals but still maintain high biocompatibility.

You can rest assured that here at Ti2Titanium we only use Grade 2 titanium, widely recognised as the best grade of titanium for jewellery due to its unique blend of properties. 

Titanium’s Hypoallergenic Properties

While bio-compatibility focuses on a material's overall safety in contact with human tissues, hypoallergenic properties specifically relate to the likelihood of triggering allergic reactions. 

Titanium’s lack of nickel, lead, and other common allergenic metals makes it hypoallergenic, meaning that it causes no allergic reactions to the skin. 

Relative to other metals used in piercings, titanium is much safer, reducing allergic reaction risks dramatically. 

All pure grades of titanium (Grades 1-4) are considered equally hypoallergenic, providing consistent safety across various jewellery pieces. 

Conversely, nickel is the most common allergen in jewellery, found in many stainless steels and some gold alloys, often causing dermatitis and other skin issues.

Typically, the consumer normally has to rely on the jeweller’s word regarding the hypoallergenic properties of their piercing jewellery, but there are ways to be more certain. 

Jewellers can certify their products through independent bodies. 

In the UK, for example, AnchorCert offers a wide range of certification services and independent expert analysis across a range of disciplines.

Most jewellers are going for this form of screening to certify the hypoallergenic nature of their products, giving consumers peace of mind that safety is at the forefront of their purchase.

At Ti2Titanium we care deeply about safety and ethical practices, and that’s why we only work with Grade 2 titanium. 

We’re currently working with AnchorCert directly to obtain our certified status.  Watch this space! 

Titanium’s Resistance to Corrosion

Another triggering factor is metal corrosion. 

It too can lead to the release of ions and other particles, which may irritate the skin or provoke allergic reactions. 

In addition, corroded metals can also harbour bacteria, increasing infection risks. 

Titanium's widely known extreme resistance to corrosion derives, once again, from its highly protective oxide surface layer. 

This inert coating shields the underlying metal from environmental factors, preventing degradation and ensuring it remains pristine and safe against the skin.

Titanium’s Strength and Lightness

This is possibly a less relevant aspect to consider, but impactful nevertheless. 

The concept here is that heavy body piercings are likely to cause strain to the skin.  Overtime, this can irritate the skin and either facilitate an already existing reaction or cause one. 

The good thing about titanium, is that it’s an incredibly strong yet light material.  

It’s about 45% lighter than stainless steel and significantly lighter than gold and silver, reducing the strain on new piercings and making it an ideal material for both initial jewellery and long-term wear.

By understanding these comprehensive aspects of titanium’s properties, it becomes clear why titanium is often the preferred choice for those seeking safe, durable, and comfortable body jewellery

Next up, we’ll look at how these metals stack up against each other for a direct comparison.

A Holistic View: Comparing Piercing Metals for Safety, Appearance, and Durability.

When choosing the right material for your piercings, it's important to look beyond just the aesthetics. 

While with body piercings safety should be your top priority, factors like appearance and durability also should play a role in your final decision. 

To facilitate your understanding of how these pieces come together in body piercings, here's a comparison of popular piercing materials, focusing on these key aspects. 


We looked at titanium quite widely already, highlighting its incredible qualities that make it the most safe and secure material. 

For completeness, let’s have a look at a couple more aspects that might influence your overall purchase: 

  • Appearance: Titanium offers a modern, sleek look, Can be fashioned in many interesting shapes, coloured and anodised to produce a variety of colour variations, catering to many personal style preferences, while maintaining safety at the forefront.

To show you some intriguing possibilities, we’ve included some piercing examples from our earring collections here.  

If you’re looking for a classic and elegant piece, look no further than our pieces [insert link] and [insert link].

Conversely, if you’re the eclectic and more colourful type, why not take a look at these wonderful designs and colours: [insert link] and [insert link].

  • Durability: Its superior strength and resistance to corrosion ensure that titanium jewellery maintains its integrity and appearance, contributing to safer, longer-lasting wear.

For example, look at the design of these piercings.  So thin and light, yet durable and long lasting: [insert link].  With titanium earrings of this quality, you do not have to worry about safety, nor longevity!

Titanium vs Stainless Steel

  • Safety: Although commonly used, stainless steel can contain nickel, which might trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It's less bio-compatible than titanium.
  • Appearance: Stainless steel has a traditional metallic look, which makes it suitable for many styles but doesn't offer the same range of colour options as anodized titanium.
  • Durability: It has good resistance to tarnish and rust, but over time, wear and tear might expose the wearer to underlying metals that could cause irritation.

Titanium vs Gold

  • Safety: The purity of gold, indicated as karats, affects its biocompatibility. Higher karat gold, like 18k, is purer and less likely to cause allergic reactions, but is softer and less durable.
  • Appearance: Gold has a classic, rich appearance and is favoured for its traditional and prestigious look.
  • Durability: Softer and more prone to scratching and deformation, gold's durability is lower, which could compromise safety if the piercing is subjected to mechanical stress.

Titanium vs Silver and Sterling Silver

  • Safety: Silver can tarnish when exposed to air and moisture, potentially releasing silver ions that can irritate the skin and lead to allergic reactions.
  • Appearance: Silver offers a bright, reflective aesthetic, though it can discolour or tarnish over time if not properly cared for.
  • Durability: The propensity to tarnish affects long-term wear and necessitates regular cleaning to maintain both appearance and safety.

Titanium vs Plastic/Acrylic

This one’s not a metal, but a material which can be used for body piercings nevertheless.

  • Safety: Some plastics may release harmful chemicals like BPA or phthalates, which are not ideal for long-term contact with skin, especially in fresh piercings.
  • Appearance: Available in many colours and designs, plastic is versatile in appearance but not recommended for healing or long-term wear.
  • Durability: Plastic and acrylic are prone to cracking and can harbour bacteria, which significantly compromises safety.

Navigating Relevant Body Piercings Lingo

So far, we have explained how and why titanium is good for piercings, and in doing so we used certain terminology like “biocompatible”, for example, which helps illustrate the point. 

In this section, we would like to go a bit deeper in the kind of vocabulary that you might find while searching for the best piercing metals, hoping that you can better navigate through these terms and understand how they relate to your safety.


Biocompatibility is a well-defined medical term, referring to a material's suitability to interact with human tissue without causing harmful reactions. 

It is measured through rigorous testing that evaluates the material's potential to produce toxic, injurious, or immunological responses when in contact with the body. 

As mentioned, certification often involves compliance with standards set by recognized bodies like the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or ISO (International Organization for Standardization). 

If a product is labelled as biocompatible, it should mean that the material has undergone these evaluations and meets the specified benchmarks. However, it's always wise to verify whether the claim refers to the finished product or just the material itself.

Medical Grade

"Medical grade" implies that a material has been approved for medical use, typically by meeting criteria for safety and performance as outlined by regulatory agencies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. 

When a product claims to be medical grade, look for specific standards it complies with—such as ASTM F136 for surgical implants, which is also relevant for piercing jewellery. 

This standard ensures that the material is biocompatible and safe for long-term insertion into the body.


Much like biocompatibility, the term "hypoallergenic" is used to describe materials that are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. 

Please be mindful that this is not an official certification, but rather a descriptor indicating reduced risk of skin irritation and allergic response. 

There are no standardised tests specifically for hypoallergenic labelling in jewellery, so it largely relies on the absence of known allergens like nickel. 

When a product is labelled hypoallergenic, it should imply that the manufacturer has avoided using materials commonly associated with allergies. However, since the term isn't regulated, it's important to assess the trustworthiness of the brand making the claim.


The term "nickel-free" should indicate that a product contains no nickel, a common allergen responsible for contact dermatitis. 

Trusted brands often provide their own guarantees backed by internal standards and testing. 

When considering a nickel-free claim, verify the credibility of the source—well-established companies are more likely to adhere to accurate and honest reporting.

Each term we've explored plays a significant role in determining the safety and suitability of piercing materials. 

Whenever possible, always remember to seek out products backed by credible certifications and transparent manufacturing practices to ensure a positive and healthy piercing experience.

Aftercare for Titanium Piercings

After choosing titanium for its biocompatibility and hypoallergenic properties, proper aftercare becomes essential to ensure your piercing heals well and remains healthy. 

Here’s how you can care for your new titanium piercing to promote smooth healing and minimise complications.

Cleaning Your Titanium Piercing

Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent infections and promote healing. 

Use a saline solution or simply fresh water every day, and dry thoroughly afterwards. It's important to avoid harsh substances like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can irritate the skin and delay the healing process. 

Apply the cleaning solution with a clean cotton swab or gauze, taking care not to disturb the piercing too much.

You can also consult our piece specifically focused on top titanium jewellery maintenance tips: Cleaning and Maintaining your Titanium Jewellery ( 

Monitoring for Signs of Piercing Infection

Be vigilant for any signs of infection, such as persistent redness, swelling, throbbing pain, or unusual discharge (yellow or green). 

These symptoms can indicate that something isn't right. If you notice any of these signs, don't hesitate to seek medical advice promptly to handle any potential infection effectively.

Reducing Piercing Irritation and Allergic Reactions

Though titanium is highly unlikely to cause allergic reactions, maintaining cleanliness and dryness around the piercing site is always a best practice that you don’t want to avoid. 

Also, keep the jewellery stationary as much as possible during the healing period; frequent touching or moving can introduce bacteria and irritate the skin.

Long-Term Piercing Care

Once your piercing has healed, it's still important to maintain regular cleaning, particularly after exposure to potentially dirty environments or after excessive sweating. 

Periodically check that the jewellery is secure and that it hasn't become too tight, as your body's changes can affect the fit over time.

Is Titanium Good For Piercings? 

It’s never been clearer how aesthetics and health must go hand in hand, and this union is certainly a golden rule when choosing the right metal for your piercing, too.  

Throughout this article, we've explored why titanium is the superior choice for piercings, exploring its unmatched biocompatibility, hypoallergenic properties, lightness, and overall durability. 

We've also navigated through the often confusing industry lingo to help you understand what makes a material safe and suitable for your body. 

Additionally, the detailed aftercare guidance ensures you know exactly how to care for your titanium piercing to promote healing and maintain long-term health.

By now, you should feel confident and equipped with the knowledge to choose not only stylish but also safe and reliable jewellery for your next piercing. 

Thank you for reading us in this exploration of titanium piercings. We hope this guide has empowered you to make the best choices for your body and style, ensuring a positive and healthy piercing experience.

And if you’re in the mood for a cheeky browse, in the hunt for your next great piece, why not take a look at our stud earrings here.