Style Story: Earrings

We look at why fashion jewellery can cause allergic reactions and why you should check to see if your next jewellery purchase has nickel in the alloy. 

Mass produced fashion jewellery earrings are made using non-precious metals like brass, pewter, sterling silver, and other cheap alloys. A lot of earrings made from these alloys can contain other metals that provoke allergic reactions. If you are prone to skin sensitivity, you should be mindful of the risk of wearing earrings made from alloys that contain nickel. Quite often you will find nickel in a lot of earrings that are not solid gold. Nickle is commonly blamed for causing skin reactions like contact dermatitis, redness, even bleeding from where the post from the earring makes contact with the skin. In 2000 the European Union imposed a ban on all sales of nickel jewellery due to the risk posed by the nickel.

For people with sensitive ears or skin, it's essential to buy earrings that are made from hypoallergenic materials. It is essential that you can identify the metal alloys used in the jewellery you purchase, so you can avoid an allergic reaction. Always ask the jeweller or jewellery company if there is any nickel in the item you are buying, they should be able to tell you this information very easily. 

Metal allergies

Metal allergies are really common nowadays, especially in the developed world. Symptoms can be challenging to manage, and not to mention the bore of not being able to wear earrings. Our advice would be to only wear jewellery made from a precious alloy such as solid gold or platinum which is hypoallergenic.

What causes nickel allergy

Nickel allergies are caused by tiny amounts of nickel in jewellery that dissolve from contact with moisture and depositing something akin to a salt crystal on the skin. An allergy can be a chronic condition and effect a person's immune system by misidentifying it as a harmless chemical like metal as a threat, prompting the immune system to attack it. This causes inflammation and redness to the skin. 

Tips for buying earrings for sensitive ears

If you have experienced allergic reactions when wearing jewellery, we suggest you purchase jewellery in the future from high-end jewellery stores instead of costume jewellery shops at shopping centres or online. Make sure you check the product description carefully, and if there is no information about what the earring has been made from, email and ask the company. You should always make sure the gold is solid gold and not plated gold, filled gold, vermeil as these terms used for description jewellery can contain nickel. 



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