Nickel Allergy? There Are Alternatives!

Did you know that piercing dates back some 5,000 years? The ears are one of the most commonly pierced body parts; for many young girls and boys, getting the ears pierced is a rite of passage.

Allergies to Jewelry Materials

If you have your ears pierced, you may have had a run-in with a pair of earrings that your body didn’t care for. Nickel is one of the main culprits. Exposure to nickel earrings or other jewelry can lead to itching, redness, a rash, dry skin, and even swelling or watery blisters.

Stainless steel can also cause irritation, usually because it contains trace amounts of nickel. If you have had an adverse reaction to nickel jewelry, it’s probably best to steer clear of stainless steel too.

Copper and rose gold (which is an alloy of copper and gold) is sometimes at fault for jewelry and earring irritation.

Lastly, brass has often been used in jewelry as a base metal, often with silver- or gold-plating to enhance its appearance. Have you ever put on a necklace or bracelet that turned your skin green? That’s because it contained some amount of brass, which turns green as it tarnishes.

What Are the Alternatives?

So what’s an earring-loving fashionista to do? There are a few alternatives to nickel, steel, gold-plated brass, and other allergenic jewelry materials. Two of the best are titanium and medical grade plastic.

Medical grade plastic and medical grade titanium are the two substances approved by the FDA for use inside the human body. Hip replacements and knee replacements are generally made from titanium. So are surgical screws and other hardware that is used to help broken bones set properly. Medical grade plastic can be found in heart valves and other implanted devices.

Both of these materials are eminently suitable for jewelry manufacture — particularly earrings and other piercing jewelry, because they actually enter the body rather than simply sitting on top of the skin.

It’s important to realize that titanium is often used for jewelry, but that not all titanium is equal. If you truly need hypoallergenic jewelry, look here for pieces that are made from medical grade titanium to ensure that the earrings you’ve chosen are safe.

What Do They Look Like?

Think that medical grade plastic and medical grade titanium earrings aren’t as attractive as the more readily available earrings that are made from other materials? Think again. You can find a variety of beautiful earrings, ranging from Swarovski crystal studs to elegant hoops to stunning pendant styles.

Of course, skin friendly jewelry isn’t just limited to earrings. You can find piercing jewelry for other body parts, like the nose, as well as bracelets and necklaces made with these hypoallergenic materials.

If you have sensitive skin, or if you’ve ever bought what you thought were the perfect pair of earrings only to experience an itchy red rash, take a look at the wide variety of skin friendly earrings and other jewelry that are available today.

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