Jewelry is a great way to express yourself while also adding a bit of refinement to your clothing. However, it might be inconvenient to discover that some of your jewelry may produce an allergic response on your skin, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Jewelry items may create unsightly, furious, or itchy responses if the skin is susceptible to specific metals used in the manufacturing process.
It could be a necklace that gives you a rash on your neck. The reaction could happen slowly after repeated exposure, or it could happen right away. No matter how it happens, the cause could be an allergy to metal.
What Is a Metal Allergy?
If you’ve ever had a skin rash after wearing jewelry, you may be allergic to metals. The allergy is called contact dermatitis, and it usually shows up as a red, itchy rash right after or while wearing jewelry made of the metal. Other signs of an allergy are swelling, blisters, red marks where the jewelry touched the skin, dry patches, and warmth in the area that was exposed. When someone with a metal allergy comes in contact with the metal, their immune system kicks in and makes histamine, which causes the above symptoms.
The most prevalent metal allergy is to nickel, one of the most often used metals in jewelry. It is often combined with other metals to form an alloy and may be found in earring posts, body jewelry, and costume jewelry, among other items. The allergy may manifest at any time, and once present, it will always be triggered by nickel exposure. Consequently, it is essential to wear hypoallergenic jewelry.
What Exactly Is Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
Jewelry that is hypoallergenic carries a low chance of allergic response. Because they do not include the filler metals, primarily nickel, prevalent in costume and plated jewelry, purer metals are an effective way to prevent allergies. The purer the metal, the lower the possibility of an allergic response. Jewelry made of titanium, gold, platinum, sterling silver, and platinum is all considered to be hypoallergenic.
Tips For Picking Hypoallergenic Necklaces and Bracelets
Fortunately, it’s simple to pick stylish choices that won’t irritate sensitive skin with just a little bit of information on what to look for in jewelry. Check out our tips on how to pick hypoallergenic necklaces and bracelets.
1. Discover What Triggers Your Skin’s Sensitivity
Many individuals may have metal-related skin reactions or allergies, and these reactions may range from mild to severe depending on the individual. Many people have skin reactions to low-quality or alloy metals, but there are other metals that are often worn as jewelry that can also cause skin reactions.
If you are allergic to nickel, make certain to double-check jewelry purchased from department shops or jewelry cases. Some stainless steel is made with nickel or iron, making it unsuitable for individuals with the allergy.
Don’t buy these kinds of things, because it’s not worth it. You will not be able to wear the jewelry, and it may cause your response to the metal to worsen over time.
2. Don’t Wear Costume Jewelry
You should avoid wearing costume jewelry if you have sensitive skin. Many individuals have allergic reactions to the nickel used in this jewelry. Green or brown marks on the skin around the jewelry are evidence that it is not made of pure gold or silver, but rather a nickel alloy (mixed metal). This sort of skin reaction may not even show up on your finger if you wear a ring, but it may turn into a rash if you wear bracelets or necklaces.
3. Perform a Scratch Test on Yourself
Scratch tests are highly useful for persons who suffer from sensitive skin sensitivities. But running your own test at home might be enough to determine which jewelry metals to avoid.
For example, before purchasing a fashionable silver necklace, consider wearing a sterling silver bracelet for a few days to rule out any allergic reactions. This is due to the fact that the skin on your neck is significantly more sensitive than the skin on your fingers and wrists. If the silver bracelet triggers an allergic response on your wrist, you should avoid wearing any necklaces manufactured from the same material.
4. Be Cautious with Clasps and Hooks
Even though the jewelry is gorgeous and made of high-quality metal, jewelry producers may use clasps and hooks made of a lesser grade metal to save money. Therefore, while purchasing jewelry (particularly online), you should double-check that the clasp hooks on necklaces and bracelets are made of hypoallergenic materials.
5. Buy From Trusted Sources
People who are trying to stay away from certain metals should know what metals are in a piece of jewelry. If you don’t buy jewelry from a trusted source, like a local jeweler, it can be hard to figure out what it’s made of.
Buying jewelry online, especially from mass market sites, makes it difficult to determine the specific composition of the items. Jewelry that says they are hypoallergenic and are made of gold may be plated with a base metal that makes the skin react.
However, if you go to a reputable jeweler, the skilled staff can advise you to high-quality jewelry made from solely pure metals, such as sterling silver, gold, or platinum.
6. Choose Pure Metals
Platinum and gold jewelry with a purity of at least 14 carats (14K) seldom produce allergic or other skin responses.
Most individuals prevent skin sensitivities by wearing jewelry made of one of these pure metals. However, it is critical to ensure that the jewelry is not just plated. Over time, the plating deteriorates and peels off, potentially exposing allergens in the metal alloys underlying.
7. Take Regular Care of Your Jewelry and Your Skin
Finally, you need to regularly clean your jewelry. While hypoallergenic jewelry may help prevent skin irritation and rashes, but it’s also important to take excellent care of them.
It is essential to clean jewelry using a solution designed for that purpose. The jewelry you wear on a daily basis collects dirt and other buildup from fragrances, soaps, and lotion. At least once a week, remove your jewelry and immerse it in a solution designed to clean it. If buildup is still there, you can clean the small parts of your jewelry with a clean toothbrush.
If you wear jewelry and are aware that your skin is allergic to certain metals, you should wash your skin regularly with a gentle cleanser.
Wearing jewelry does not have to be painful.
If you have sensitive skin, you don’t have to stop wearing jewelry. You just have to be more careful about what you choose. This is why choosing hypoallergenic jewelry is the best way to avoid allergic reactions while still showing off your style.
If you have a passion for jewelry yet suffer from skin sensitivities, consider the following tips.