Itchy, red, cracking, and draining earlobes are some of the symptoms experienced by people allergic to earrings with nickel in their content. The Mayo Clinic contends that nickel allergy is a very common form of dermatitis occurring when nickel comes in contact with skin. Most people who suffer from this condition eventually wear only nickel free earrings.
Inexpensive, thinly plated, jewelry eventually loses its outer coating, usually revealing copper or nickel underneath. It is possible to coat a bracelet with clear nail polish to delay this tarnishing. People willing to do the same with thinly plated gold earrings run the risk of having nail polish inside their ear piercings.
Once a person acquires a sensitivity to nickel, it’s forever! However, some people will continue to wear their favorite stylish earrings regardless of the nickel content. There are those, however, willing to purchase earrings containing a small amount of nickel beneath non-corrosive metal plating that does not wear down. Other sufferers buy only jewelry that contains no nickel in either plating or components.
People allergic to nickel who insist on wearing their favorite nickel-laden earrings can apply corticosteroid cream beforehand to the fronts and backs of their ears to minimize the symptoms. Nevertheless, some reaction will most likely occur. In that case, it’s wise to apply the corticosteroid cream again upon removal and wait several days for complete healing. In addition, an oral antihistamine may reduce the symptoms. Those who discover that the discomfort and inconvenience they experience aren’t worth it may eventually seek out only allergy-free materials when selecting jewelry. If, however, they still cannot part with some of the earrings which cause a reaction, it will help to discard those earring backs and buy hypoallergenic or, preferably, nickel free backs. This will guarantee that all earrings, old and new, have hypoallergenic backs.
Reasonably priced earrings made of pewter, wood, plastic, bronze, or brass are available in various styles and are found at certified nickel free jewelry websites. Surgical stainless steel, either alone or plated with another material, is very reliable. Regular stainless steel should be avoided since it eventually corrodes and releases the nickel contained within. Twenty-four carat gold plating, eight to ten mils thick, which covers a surgical steel base is an ideal choice. Platinum, although considerably more expensive, is another consideration.
Cobalt, silver, and white gold earrings contain some degree of nickel and are, therefore, not a good choice. Those favoring the silver look that is nickel free can purchase surgical stainless steel that is polished to a high luster.
A “hypoallergenic” label on the earrings doesn’t necessarily mean nickel free. People with sensitive ears should look for the “nickel free” label of authenticity on the earring packaging. Those still concerned about the metal composition of the earrings can simply ask.
The online marketplace is a great source of jewelry made by artisans specializing in earrings made without nickel. The unlimited choices range from stud posts to jeweled chandelier earrings. Those who do their homework will find gorgeous earrings that are just as sturdy, stylish, and elegant as earrings containing nickel.