Are you or a loved one allergic to certain metals used in jewelry? If so, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 20% of Americans are allergic to nickel, which is commonly used for costume jewelry. Nickel is also used to strengthen soft metals like gold and silver.
The good news is that the world of jewelry offers plenty of alternatives to these potentially irritating nickel alloys. As a premier jewelry store, we offer jewelry in stainless steel, platinum, titanium, 14k gold, and other hypoallergenic metals. That way, you never have to sacrifice style for comfort!
What is a Nickel Allergy?
You may have a nickel allergy if your skin is dry, red, and/or itchy where it touches certain pieces of jewelry. This allergic reaction is called “contact dermatitis” and usually occurs within hours or days of nickel-alloy jewelry touching your skin. Keep in mind that other items can also contain nickel alloys, such as buttons or zippers.
What are the Best Metals for Sensitive Skin?
Hypoallergenic metals contain little to no alloys that could potentially irritate your skin.
Here are some examples of hypoallergenic metals:
14k and Higher Gold
Some pure metals like gold and silver are too soft to use on their own while crafting jewelry. That’s why hypoallergenic metals are often alloys, which means they are a combination of metals. For example, sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. However, zinc or nickel may also be used.
Contrary to popular belief, hypoallergenic jewelry can contain nickel. However, the amount of nickel used is so low that you can wear the jewelry without experiencing an allergic reaction.
If you have a metal allergy, we will be more than happy to help you find jewelry both you and your skin will love. Our highly knowledgeable team knows the metal composition of each piece of jewelry in our showroom and is ready to help you explore your options.
How Can I Avoid Allergic Reactions to Jewelry?
Invest in hypoallergenic fine jewelry that contains little to no nickel. Not only will these pieces make a nice addition to your jewelry box, but you’ll also be able to wear them without the fear of triggering an allergic reaction.
As a premier jewelry store, it is our utmost hope that the hypoallergenic jewelry you buy from us becomes a treasure you’ll cherish for years to come. We want to make sure that you’ll be able to wear your new jewelry comfortably for long periods of time. This means you’ll be able to wear your hypoallergenic jewelry all day and into the evening without an allergic reaction.
Limiting your exposure to certain jewelry metals can significantly reduce your risk of an allergic reaction. For example, you can wear a pendant necklace so it’s over your shirt instead of resting against your skin. For other types of jewelry, we may be able to add a layer of protective film or metal where the jewelry touches your skin. Visit our showroom to learn about your options for hypoallergenic fine jewelry.
What About Earrings? Can’t I Just Use Clear Nail Polish?
Do NOT apply clear nail polish to the backs of your earrings if you’re sensitive or allergic to nickel. Nail polish will chip and wear away over time—sometimes the same day it was applied. When this happens, the metal will touch your skin and trigger an allergic reaction. You should also keep in mind that there are a lot of harsh ingredients in clear nail polish that you probably don’t want to introduce to your ear piercings.
The best earrings for sensitive ears are those that contain little to no nickel. Aren’t sure where to start? Come visit our showroom in Grand Rapids. During your visit, we’ll be able to introduce you to hypoallergenic earrings that are safe for you to wear all day, every day.
Call Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry
We understand that some of our clients may be concerned about metal allergies. Our compassionate team does everything they can to accommodate your needs by helping you find exactly what you’re looking for in a piece of hypoallergenic jewelry.