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A Journey to Silver

Sturdy South

Your average piercer probably told you that surgical steel is the best choice when going for a navel piercing. There are many reasons why this is the most popular choice: surgical steel piercings are easy and cheap to make. Surgical steel doesn’t react with any other chemicals, such as salt, chlorine or disinfectants. If things go well, you can put the piercing in and forget about it.

Well, if things do go well. Belly button piercings are special because they are located in an area where bacteria naturally accumulate. Sweat runs down the body bringing with it all kinds of germs that end up in the place they shouldn’t end up at all: the piercing. This is one of the reasons so many women struggle with their belly button piercing. A navel piercing typically takes over six months to heal. Sometimes, it never completely heals. The rejection rate is relatively high leaving behind scars for life.

Silver is different with respect to surgical steel because it is softer and more expensive. Silver also reacts with some elements it comes into contact with, which is why piercers tend to shun it. But the lower resistance of silver has an important side-effect: it kills off all kinds of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Silver has an important role in modern medicine and several alternative approaches to healing, such as Ayurveda. Already Hippocrates mentioned the use of silver in medicine. Today, we use silver in wound dressings and as an antibiotic coating on medicinal devices.

Wearing silver piercings has the important advantage that bacteria are exterminated even before they can settle and cause infection and irritation. It also acts right from the inside, while other topical remedies you might have heard of, such as tea tree oil, can be applied only on the surface.

When I just got my belly button pierced, all of the above seemed obvious to me. But to my surprise, I couldn’t find one trustworthy place that would sell piercings made of silver. Eventually, I decided to produce my own jewelry and Sturdy South was born. Switching my surgical steel bar to a piece made of sterling silver was a small thing to do, but it changed my life. It solved at once all redness, swollenness, and pain I felt from time to time. I totally re-fell in love with my belly button piercing.

The bottom line is, I am not saying that you should buy your piercings from our store (even though I’m happy if you do), but what I’m saying is that you should try to wear a good quality navel piercing made of Sterling Silver. Chances are it’s one of those little things you wish someone had told you much earlier!

Marina Chen, Sturdy South

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