Archive | June, 2016

Earrings for Sensitive Skin

Earrings for Sensitive Skin ?

Who doesn’t love a beautiful pair of earrings? There are many people, however, who have allergic reactions to common types of jewelry. The symptoms can range from mild itching to red bumps and swelling. An earring allergy occurs when the metal in the jewelry is moistened and small crystals are released. These crystals penetrate the skin and, for people who are sensitive to the metal, can cause an allergic reaction.  Unfortunately, having an allergic reaction to earrings is not uncommon and the prevalence of metal allergies has led the EU to place certain restrictions on nickel jewelry which tells us just how serious this issue is.  Earrings for sensitive skin, made with this problem in mind, may be your answer.

 

Nickel and Metal Allergies

Nickel is identified as the metal that is prone to give rise to allergic reactions among sensitive jewelry wearers. It is commonly used in jewelry making because of its strength and low cost. One reason people who shop for earrings for sensitive skin may avoid cheaper or low-grade jewelry is that it often contains a high proportion of nickel. Costume jewelry and second hand items may also create irritation.

People with allergies to nickel often shop for earrings in stores and websites geared specifically to hypoallergenic jewelry or look for higher quality, purer alloys.

While those with severe jewelry allergies strive to avoid nickel altogether, some people with sensitive skin may be fine with items that contain only small amounts of nickel. This means that wearing a 14k gold necklace or earrings, even if there is some nickel present, may not cause irritation. Another idea is to look for alloys that contain metals like palladium, which is a white metal similar to platinum, but less expensive.

 

Precious Metals and Stainless Steel

Obviously, looking for precious metals in purer forms may mean spending a lot of money. Those who are on the lookout for affordable hypoallergenic jewelry often opt for stainless or surgical steel, which tends to be kinder on the skin than regular jewelry. The terms “nickel free” or “hypoallergenic” may appear with some frequency, and it is useful to understand the distinctions.

Many forms of stainless steel contain around 8-10% nickel. However, this nickel exists in a way that is not “available” or its molecular structure does not allow to express traits that may lead to allergic reactions. Even if some types of stainless steel earrings contain nickel, tests for nickel may show the items are nickel free. A number of shops and websites selling hypoallergenic jewelry may indicate that the items are tested as nickel free, but it is also possible to purchase a tester to use at home.

 

Earrings for Sensitive Skin

Jewelry adds beauty and character to any outfit, but those with metal allergies have to be careful what accessories they buy. Fortunately, there are many kinds of earrings on the market that do not create an allergic reaction. Try using the hypoallergenic options for earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and other items to experience the joy of beautiful jewelry without the pain of allergic reactions.

Are Hypoallergenic Earrings Nickel Free

Are Hypoallergenic Earrings Nickel Free ?

You might not realize it until your earlobes turn red and start to itch, but you may have an earring allergy. No one likes to put on a pair of pretty earrings only to discover that they cause itching and irritation, so many people rely on hypoallergenic earrings, and demand for the products is keen.

The term “hypoallergenic” is heard often, and refers to something that is free from allergy-producing materials. For most people who have allergies to regular jewelry, that means nickel, which is a leading cause of skin irritation, and therefore, it is often assumed that hypoallergenic jewelry made from stainless steel contains no nickel.

The two questions that arise are, “Is this assumption true?” and “What affect will this jewelry have on someone who is allergic?”

Metals and Allergies

Nickel is one of the metals most widely used in alloys for jewelry making, and it is prized for its sturdiness and cost-effectiveness. However, it is also the ingredient in jewelry that most commonly leads to allergy symptoms, particularly when oxidation occurs.

Metals used often in hypoallergenic jewelry include gold, platinum, copper, titanium and stainless steel. Precious metals carry the advantages of high value, beauty and, in many cases, hypoallergenic qualities, but they also command a hefty price tag.

When discussing hypoallergenic jewelry made of precious metals, it should be emphasized that these are made of the solid metal, and not gold or platinum plated items, which can have a substantial amount of nickel as the base metal.

What about Stainless Steel?

Much of the affordably-priced hypoallergenic earrings are made of stainless steel. It could be assumed that because these earrings are said to be hypoallergenic, that they are free of nickel. There is some justice in this assumption, but the fact is that most stainless steel jewelry contains at least small amounts of nickel, around 8 to 12%.

However, the nickel that exists in jewelry that merits the description as hypoallergenic is so tightly bound on a molecular level that it doesn’t behave the way regular nickel does. In a sense, it is not “available,” is not sensed by the skin, and does not cause irritation.

Neutralized Nickel

So the answer to the above questions is, yes, contrary to popular belief, hypoallergenic stainless steel jewelry does contain some nickel, but no, it might not matter in the sense that it will not cause an allergic reaction, because your skin doesn’t feel it.

One way to prove that the small amount of nickel in hypoallergenic jewelry is not “available” to cause allergic reactions is if the jewelry tests negative for nickel. Many high-quality hypoallergenic earrings made of stainless steel do test negative for nickel. Therefore, you can still feel confident that the hypoallergenic earrings you own will not irritate your skin, because if the nickel they contain is in a form that is “locked” and can’t cause irritation to your skin, you won’t feel the difference.