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No one wants to have allergic reaction after wearing beautiful earrings.
To prevent such undesired effects, we have to undercover the reason.
Many times, the chief culprit is nickel.
Nickel is widely used with other metals in order to change their color and strength.
Adding nickel to metals will lighten their color.
They will gain a whiter tone.
Nickel’s other effect is increasing the strength of the metal.
There are metals like gold and silver, which are too soft in their pure form, to make into jewelry.
Making these soft metals an alloy with stronger metals like nickel, increases durability.
Thanks to this operation, we get a good alloy for jewelry and household use like silverware items.
Gold is a very good choice for sensitive ears
Gold is a hypoallergenic metal.
Meaning that it does not have a tendency to cause any reaction.
Although no one can guarantee zero allergies, selecting hypoallergenic metals is a good choice for sensitive people.
It is highly unlikely that you will have any negative effects with hypoallergenic gold.
But not all gold is the same!
As gold is soft in its pure form, more durable alloys of gold are used in jewelry.
Metals are added to gold to increase strength and durability.
Many are much cheaper metals like copper.
In these added metals, there might not be nickel.
Yet, even if nickel is not added intentionally, the other metals may contain traces of nickel.
These small amounts of nickel may cause irritation and redding of the skin.
If you prefer gold jewelry and have sensitive skin, you may choose higher purity gold pieces.
Gold percentage in jewelry is measured in karats.
1 karat is 1 in 24 parts gold.
Thus, 24-karat gold is 100% pure gold.
12-karat gold is 50% gold.
The remaining part comes from cheaper metals, like copper, to increase strength and give the desired color.
The smaller this part is the lower the trace nickel could there be.
Choosing 18K or higher gold pieces will reduce the probability for allergic reactions.
With the other member of the gold family, white gold, things may be different.
White gold is much time coated with rhodium, which protects the inner gold alloy and gives a more shiny uniform look to the jewelry.
Rhodium is a hypoallergenic metal which is very unlikely to cause any reaction.
Nevertheless, one must never forget that rhodium is brittle and the coating may wear off after time.
In this case, the inner alloy will start to touch the skin.
This is the first step to allergic reactions.
When this happens with a rhodium coated white gold earring, ring or other jewelry, a visit to the local jewelry store is to be made.
A short re-plating session will restore the coating and shine of the piece.
Silver for Hypersensitive Skin
Silver is another hypoallergenic metal but just like gold it is alloyed with copper and other metals.
Sterling silver is a 92.5% pure silver alloy very widely used in jewelry.
The remaining 7.5% may contain nickel or traces or nickel, which may cause allergies.
If you experienced irritation when wearing a sterling silver jewelry, but still prefer silver, you may choose argentium silver.
Argentium silver is a nickel-free silver alloy type.
It is also richer in silver than 925 sterling.
It has 93.5% or 96% silver in its composition.
These two alloys are named Argentium 935 and Argentium 960.
Argentium silver is brighter than 925 silver.
It is also easier to main as it has a higher tarnish resistance.
Other good choices for sensitive skin are niobium and titanium.
These are all hypoallergenic metals which are also made into surgical implants.
Although, nickel is not the only allergenic metal, it is the first guess.
Avoid nickel in all your pieces for peace of mind.
Choose hypoallergenic metals for your jewelry.
However, don’t forget that no one and no metal can guarantee absolute zero probability for allergic-free jewelry.
In any case, consulting a medical doctor is an astute choice before -and after- having any doubt for allergic reactions.