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Hypoallergenic Earrings, What You Need to Know

Posted by BPJ on 14th May 2023

Hypoallergenic Earrings, What You Need to Know

Did you know that nickel allergies are the main way to contact dermatitis? While exceptionally common, there are many ways to avoid allergic reactions with jewelry. Arguably the most popular option is to use hypoallergenic earrings.

But what are hypoallergenic earrings, and are they different from nickel-free earrings? If you're curious to learn more about avoiding a metal allergy, we're here to help! Read on for a quick guide on hypoallergenic earrings!

Hypoallergenic Earrings vs. Nickel-Free Earrings

To start, we need to cover what the difference between hypoallergenic and nickel-free earrings is! Many people confuse the two or assume the terms refer to the same thing.

There are many differences between the two and it's crucial to understand them. One of the primary differences is that hypoallergenic earrings can sometimes contain nickel!

Many hypoallergenic earrings - particularly cheaper options - will have a small amount of nickel. They may have such a small content of nickel that they can legally call themselves "nickel-free" earrings.

One method that less reputable vendors will use is to coat nickel in a hypoallergenic metal like platinum. Once the plating begins to fade, the nickel is exposed.

Many hypoallergenic earrings are nickel-free, but they are not the same. You should research your vendor and product before purchasing. That way, you can make sure you know what product you have and what allergic reactions it may trigger.

Why Use Hypoallergenic Earrings?

The main reason to use hypoallergenic earringsis if you have an allergy to metal. There are many metals that may cause an allergic reaction.

Nickel is the most common metal allergy. Up to 18% of North America suffers from nickel allergies. However, if you have a nickel allergy, it's safer to purchase nickel-free earrings instead of hypoallergenic ones.

Beyond allergies, many people prefer hypoallergenic jewelry for the pure metals. To get rid of nickel and other allergy-activating metals, crafters will create jewelry out of a pure metal. Many find these earrings to have a higher quality than others.

Even without a nickel allergy, contacting dermatitis from your earrings is possible. You can form painful and unsightly blisters or a severe rash. Hypoallergenic earrings help ensure you don't suffer from this problem.

If you experience an allergic reaction using nickel-free earrings, nickel likely wasn't your allergy. You should talk with a medical professional and share your experience. They can help you discover your active allergy.

Above all else, do not continue using earrings that your body reacted poorly to. Your body is unlikely to get better through "exposure." Instead, you may do lasting damage and cause immense discomfort.

Hypoallergenic Jewelry Options

Now that we know more about hypoallergenic jewelry, we can look at some options. There are plenty of choices available!

Hypoallergenic jewelry has become popular for its medical and cosmetic use. Due to this popularity, you can find vendors and high-quality pieces easily. Here are some of the categories you can find these earrings in.

Wooden Jewelry

One of the most popular options is wooden jewelry. Wooden jewelry is favored for being inexpensive.

A reason for this inexpensive nature is because wooden jewelry rarely has precious stones. Instead, it's wooden bands or hook earrings.

Wooden jewelry also has a natural look that many people prefer. It fits best with earthy or natural outfits. You can also find a lot of fantastic outdoor outfits with wooden earrings!

Another great benefit of wooden jewelry is that it's anti-bacterial. Bacteria and microbial life cannot survive on the wooden surface.

These properties help the material be more than just hypoallergenic. You won't have to worry about sickness or infection from your earrings.

You should always make sure you're getting high-quality and well-made earrings. Poorly-made wooden earrings may splinter or break. While this is highly uncommon with "good" earrings, low-quality options may fail you.

Pure Metal

Arguably the most popular option for hypoallergenic earrings is pure metal. "Pure" metal refers to the several alloys or options that craftsmen may use.

The best way to ensure there's no nickel or allergy-activating metals is to use only one metal. For this purpose, many people buy platinum or titanium jewelry. These metals are hypoallergenic and will not cause any allergic reaction in their pure state.

However, pure metals also get expensive. One option is to plate a cheaper hypoallergenic material over a smaller core. Rhodium-plated sterling silver is fantastic for sensitive ears, for example.

Another popular option is nickel-free sterling silver. Be on the look out for metal-plated nickel, as this is not hypoallergenic. As the plating fades, the nickel is exposed and will trigger allergies.

Medical Grade Plastic

A final option is medical grade plastic. While the name may sound overly-sterile or low-quality, it's one of the best options available.

Medical grade plastic is exceptionally popular for first-time piercings. The material is gentle for sensitive ears and hypoallergenic.

Like wood, medical grade plastic is antimicrobial. They also will stop bacterial growth, which can help prevent infection.

Medical grade plastic is most common for children that are getting their ears pierced. The popularity is mostly because it's inexpensive for earrings that they may quickly outgrow. They also cause no irritation, which bothers children more than adults.

If you suffer from an allergy or have an infection, you may want to switch to medical grade plastic. They're inexpensive and should pose no health risks whatsoever. Speak to your doctor to see if there would be any complications to you using them!

Using Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Hypoallergenic earrings are a great way to use safe, comfortable jewelry. Do your best not to confuse hypoallergenic and nickel-free earrings if you have a nickel allergy! Wood, medical grade plastic, and pure metals all make fantastic hypoallergenic options if you prefer them.

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