Polymethyl methacrylate reaction

One of the most common and least expensive kind of jewelry is acrylic plugs (ie. “Lucite”, “Plexiglas”, etc.). In general it’s quite biocompatible (some contact lenses are made of it, dentures can be made of it, as can some types of bone cement)… That said, some people do react — James Raimar (Holey Body, Saginaw MI) sends in this shot of someone who came into his shop seeking help due to their body not liking the plastic jewelry one bit! He’s seen enough of these reactions that he recommends avoiding it.

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged , , by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

38 thoughts on “Polymethyl methacrylate reaction

  1. It’s sad to see someone’s lobe turn out angry like this, but it’s good to finally see a picture of the downsides of wearing acrylic jewelry. So many people ignore what they are told when I tell them that acrylic is a huge no no when wearing it long term or in fresh stretches.. but I think pictures usually do the trick in making them change their ways. Investing in some higher quality, slightly more expensive plugs is a very smart idea. Happy lobes make for very happy people.

  2. I have similar reactions to acryllic jewelry of any kind. It’s NOT pleasant!

    I had reactions in VERY healed piercings, for those curious.

  3. i’m glad my body isn’t picky and i can wear whatever i want in healed piercings. however i stick to stainless steel in fresh holes so i’m sure they heal without any problems.

  4. This happened to my little sister. Luckily she took it out before it got way bad. If my piercing started acting up when I changed out the jewelry I’d take it out imediately.
    :( I think if I were to have stretched lobes I’d be willing to pay a little more for glass or wood plugs.

  5. Man, that sucks… I am incredibly allergic to stainless steel, to the point that I have a similar reaction… I can wear acryllic without a problem though, although I don’t often, because I’m not fond of the look of it, and I tend to get quite a bit of ear-cheese when I do…

  6. Ouch! :(
    I’m curious as to the response to veronica’s question.

    PS: Go Spirit ;)

  7. Bad reactions can happen pretty quickly…I react this way to just about all wooden jewelry. Acrylic i don’t seem to have a problem with as long as I take them out and wash them every day, as moisture and piercing funk tends to build up quite a lot on acrylic, I’ve noticed.

  8. For those mentioning a time frame, mine flaired up in under two hours. I was out in public, so I didn’t notice until a friend told me. I was discharging brown fluid from the piercings. It was horrible. I totally understand what this kid went through.

  9. Yikes! They make contact lenses out of that stuff? Imagine if you had such a reaction on your cornea? :S

  10. ouch poor man, I hope hes all healed up real quick.

    Personally I would only wear good quality gold jewellery especially through my ears. Anything else gives me a real bad reaction.

  11. Dang… I had a similar reaction to acrylic that sucked pretty bad.

    I use to buy acrylic jewelry all the time because it was so inexpensive, which was fine until I reached about 00g. Once I started using large gauge acrylic jewelry, my lobes started to itch… it got worse and worse until I had small open sores around the edges.. but I took them out before it got too bad. I learned my lesson though:

    IF IT ITCHES AND TURNS RED… TAKE THEM OUT!!!! They should never get to the point illustrated in the photo.

  12. i never had a problem with acrylic plugs and was even completely fine with making my own fimo plugs while between sizes. eventually i got up to 5/8″ using stainless steel plugs. about 6 months after they healed i bought some kaos plugs. within 2 hours my ears were red and swollen. when i took the plugs out to see what was going on, the entire inner circumference of both holes came off with the plugs.

    most excruciating pain i have EVER been in. i’ve never passed out but i came incredibly close to doing so after removing those damn things.

    needless to say, my holes are now gone. blah.

  13. cheap metal from online or the mall makes my piercings (like 5+ years old) hurt i try to stick to glass, wood, bone, or for work silicone (i have to do restraints and silicone in a large stretched septum makes life much easier)
    ive never had a problem with acrlic. I had it in my ears and septum for years but i think it looks tacky now and don’t use it.

  14. ick.

    I usually try to stick to organics or surgical steel. I only wear clear acrylic stuff occasionally, and only during the day, because it makes the holes look bigger and I have weird reactions to silicone.

    Once I find a good pair of Pyrex, though, I think I’ll be through with acrylic for good.

  15. poor ears…makes my ears hurt thinking about it..but then I did jsut stretch up :)

  16. Acrylic is not acrylic, there are many different sorts. Maybe the plugs of this guy where made out of somw low quality industrial grade stuff…

  17. I don’t have any stretched piercings, I’m not sure I ever will – the seem to require a whole lot more maintenance than my lifestyle could hope to keep up with. I don’t know if it’s just that people post their bad experiences, or if it’s a general rule of thumb, but it seems that stretched piercings are really bitchy most of the time, am I right in saying that? All these posts, and others relating to stretches gone bad talk about reactions to just about every plug material! So my question is why do stretched piercings react so violently? Most people are allergic to nickle and so forth, but the reactions to nickle in ordinary piercings I’ve seen have never been on the scale of ‘ewwww’ that Shannon posts. I was just wondering why?

  18. This is so sad, I really feel for this guy. My lobes are my pride and joy and I’m almost fanatical about what I put in them. Hopefully this guys will heal up fully and not cause him anymore discomfort than they already have!

  19. Two days ago, I put a silicone plug in my (absolutely fine) ear.

    Yesterday, it started to ache so I attempted to take it out….

    POP! A large portion of my lobe came with it, in a bloody, pus-filled mess.

    WTF?? It makes no sense that a healed piercing can get so angry in hours… can someone with chemistry/biology training explain what’s in these materials to make them do that??

  20. Acrylic is NOT suitable for body jewelry, as far as I am concerned. I nearly lost an earlobe as a result of a reaction to acrylic jewelry. It’s bad stuff- the rate of reaction is much too high for it to be considered safe, IMHO.

  21. I didn’t realize that contact lenses could have acylic in them also… I had a bad reaction to contacts a number of years ago (they were Ciba contacts); my eyes got very itchy after only a few minutes. My optometrist told me that they should be fine, that it was normal for a new pair of contacts to feel a little uncomfortable, and that I should keep them in to allow my eyes to acclimate to them. So I did. The next day, I woke up and couldn’t open my eyes; they were glued shut from dried tears and other stuff from my eyes. I also had a splitting headache, and an incredible sensitivity to light (bad enough that I couldn’t stand to have my eyes open in anything more than candlelight). Needless to say, I freaked out. It took about two days for the worst of the reaction to pass. Since then, I’ve used Bausch & Lomb contacts without any problems. I wonder if the Ciba contacts had some kind of acrylic in them? Unfortunately, I can’t seem to track down what plastic they are made of, and the (incompetent) optometrist swore that Bausch & Lomb contacts were made out of exactly the same plastic.

  22. I react this way too to acrylic and wood, so much that I had to take my plugs out after many years of fighting with them :(

  23. Wow. My ear looks exactly the same, right after I wear one of my acrylic plugs. My ear only reacts that way to acrylics and silicons. Right now I’m wearing rings and that’s what my lobes like best.

  24. I use acrylic for stretching (i.e.- I get a cheap pair of plugs at my starting size and tape up to my finished size) and I’m wearing some clear ones right now- I gotta say, thse things STINK like oil. Seriously. and it’s not ear-cheese funk either, this is oily greasy mechanical smelling crap. I notice every time I remove my plugs (each night) and dang, it’s so awful I almost can’t sleep.
    Can’t wait until i’m at my target size.

  25. I had this happen. I put a pair of IS acrylic plugs into my well healed lobes (which I took 5 years to stretch to avoid blowout.) And within a few hours, I had the worst allergic reaction to it – the tissue that came in contact with the acrylice basicly turned itself inside out. My lobes now have a ridge of blowout from the first (and last) time I’ve worn acrylic.

  26. it all depends on your body, for some people this material could really work. Has this person never streached with acrilic before? even when they were at a tiny 14 or 12? Maybe its an infection, not a reaction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>