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.