When You Need Hypoallergenic Jewelry
Having a skin allergy is one of the most annoying problems for people. There are different kinds of skin allergies such as being sensitive to specific fabrics, chemicals, and natural elements in the environment. And among the most common skin irritants are specific types of metal.
Being allergic or sensitive to certain types of metal can make it difficult for a person to choose and wear jewelry. If you’re one of those people who are suffering from annoying rashes when wearing jewelry, then hypoallergenic jewelry might work for you. But how would you know which ones you can wear without any problem? No worries, because we are here to give you tips about hypoallergenic jewelry pieces.
How to Know If You Have an Allergy to Jewelry
It’s easy to determine if you are experiencing an allergy to jewelry. Some of the signs and symptoms are itchy and red skin, rash, swelling, burning, and blisters at the site of contact.
Another way is to conduct scratch tests or conduct your own test at home, so you can decide what metals and jewelry pieces you should avoid. For example, before you purchase a bold link chain of sterling silver or gold, you can try to wear a sterling silver ring first for a few days and see if there will be skin reactions. The most sensitive part is the neck compared to fingers and wrists, so you might want to test a necklace.
The Most Common Type of Allergy on Jewelry
One of the most common jewelry allergies that most of the people experience is being allergic to nickel. In fact, almost 15% of the population is allergic to nickel. It is a white metal that is usually mixed with other metals to create an alloy. It can be found in a lot of products that come in contact with the skin ranging from earrings, body jewelry, costume jewelry, watches, and zippers, to basic hair pins.
What is Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
Basically, hypoallergenic jewelry pieces are those which are made of pure metals. These metals are copper, stainless steel, 18k gold, platinum, fine silver, sterling silver, and titanium. They are specifically made for people who usually experience allergic reactions to certain types of jewelry, most commonly to nickel.
If you usually experience allergic reactions when wearing jewelry pieces, it’s better to switch to metals which are in a purer form to avoid the symptoms. Try to avoid plated pieces like costume jewelry, nickel silver, and German silver, because all of those rely heavily on nickel as their filler. It’s also important to keep all your jewelry pieces clean and free of tarnish.
Hypoallergenic Metal Alternatives to Avoid Allergic Reactions
There are many options and kinds of hypoallergenic metal alternatives for yellow and white metals. Here are some of the ones you can choose from:
• 18K and Above Gold: For allergy sufferers, it’s great to choose high karat gold because those lower karat ones are less pure and are usually alloyed with more base metals and a lot are allergens. 18K gold and above jewelry pieces are the best hypoallergenic alternative for yellow metal.
• Platinum: It is one of the best nickel-free metals that is used in jewelry. It is generally alloyed with iridium, which is hypoallergenic, therefore, a safer option for allergy sufferers. It is a great hypoallergenic alternative for white metal since popular white metals are likely to give people allergic reactions. However, platinum jewelry pieces can be more expensive and not as accessible as silver.
• Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel: This might still have some nickel, but it is normally considered hypoallergenic for most people, and it is a pretty safe choice for those who suffer from nickel sensitivity. It is also an accessible option and it is commonly used by a lot of jewelry designers in creating amazing designs.
• Rhodium Plated: If you’re thinking of what to do with your allergen-alloyed jewelry, and you do not want to sell them or give them away, what we can suggest is to take them to a jeweler and get them plated in rhodium. It’s because rhodium is hypoallergenic, and it can act as a barrier between the allergen and your skin. However, the downside of this is you might need to take your jewelry pieces back often to get it re-plated to maintain the barrier.
Nonmetal Jewelry Pieces
If you are allergic to nickel and other alloys, it’s best that you avoid metal jewelry pieces in general. You can just go for beaded necklaces especially if you have sensitive skin. There are non-metallic beads that can give you the look of metal jewelry without giving you annoying rashes. Aside from that, you can also choose rubber, cloth, and leather bracelets rather than chains and metal bangles. And as alternatives for metal link bracelets, you can opt for beaded charm bracelets instead which are fun and hypoallergenic at the same time.
We hope the information and tips we gave will help you in choosing hypoallergenic jewelry pieces, so you can avoid suffering from allergic reactions while still being able to enjoy accessorizing.
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