Do you or your little one have issues wearing earrings? Do your ears get red, inflamed or itchy whenever you put on your earings? If this happens a lot, then you, like 25% of women in the world suffer from contact dermatitis caused by your earings. Its the same reaction you would get if you were stung by a bee or if you touched some poison ivy. Switching to nickel-free earrings made by companies such as Blomdahl will allow you to look beautiful without a worry.
This allergy is a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. It causes an itchy rash and inflammation in the areas where your skin touches the jewelry. Nickel is a hard yet malleable, silvery-white metal that has a slight gold sheen. It is used as a base metal for most jewelry because it reinforces most metals such as soft gold, increasing their durability. Even though nickel is found in many everyday things such as coins, or zippers, this allergic reaction is linked to earings and other jewelry items. Prolonged or repeated exposure to nickel can cause the allergy, and unfortunately, it is permanent. Once you get it, you will always be sensitive to the metal.
Nickel Allergy Symptoms
The allergic reaction can happen within hours to days after exposure and can last up to four weeks. Symptoms of a nickel allergy include rashes or bumps on the skin, mild to severe itching, skin redness, dry patches of skin, and blistering in some cases. You should visit a doctor if you get a rash and don't know what caused it. If you are aware of your nickel allergy, use over the counter medicine or home remedies to ease the symptoms. While some home remedies advice that you can cover nickel earrings with clear nail polish, it is only a temporary fix. The best solution is to avoid nickel altogether by wearing nickel-free pieces.
You must understand that nickel-free and hypoallergenic don't mean the same thing. If you have a nickel allergy, you must avoid wearing earrings or any other jewelry that contains nickel. If you see the term hypoallergenic on earring labels, it means that it causes fewer allergic reactions; however, it doesn't mean its nickel-free. For instance, surgical-grade steel is hypoallergenic, but it contains 8-16% nickel.
What earings are nickel-free?
- Medical grade titanium - this material is used to make medical instruments and implants that don't react with the body. Its deep silvery luster makes for pretty earrings.
- Medical grade plastic - nickel-free doesn't always mean metal. Medical grade plastic is an excellent nickel-free option. Its the same one used to make sutures used surgical sutures. Its safe, hygienic, lightweight, and comfortable.
- Sterling silver - also known as 925, it is made up of 92.5% pure silver. The other 7.5% contains other metals such as zinc, copper, platinum, or germanium.
- Yellow gold - pure gold contains no nickel, but it is very soft; thus, it needs other metals to strengthen it. Yellow gold is an alloy containing 58% gold, 25% silver, and 17 % copper. Avoid white gold as it contains nickel for the color and strength.
- Niobium - it is a hard but malleable metal mostly used in superalloys for jet engines and other heat resistant items. It has a rainbow sheen when anodized as it refracts colors as you move, making it ideal for jewelry.
If you or people you know have a problem wearing jewelry, then these nickel-free options are the way to go. They are safe, stylish, durable, and worry-free; this way, you feel confident wearing or gifting them to others.