Surgical steel is a form of stainless steel; there are over 200 grades of stainless steel, but only 2 grades of surgical steel - 316L and 316LVM. Surgical steel is a popular material in the medical industry as it is strong, easy to clean and non-corrosive (meaning that it won't rust). It is a popular material for body jewellery for the same reasons, as well as the fact that it can be manipulated into many shapes, set with gems and polished to an attractive mirror-like shine. For the majority of people, 316L and 316LVM surgical steel makes great body jewellery for healed piercings; however, it may cause minor allergic reactions (such as swelling and itching) in those who have nickel sensitivities. If you have had allergic reactions from nickel in the past, then Titanium jewellery is a much safer alternative.