Earrings are a useful fashion accessory that allow you to show off your creativity and sense of personal style. However, many people are unable to wear earrings often because of skin allergies. Certain types of earrings cause itching and skin lesions for those with sensitive skin and make the process of wearing earrings both uncomfortable and unattractive. Fortunately, allergy free earrings exist that eliminate those problems so users can feel fashionable and comfortable while wearing them.

Allergy Causes

Allergies are caused by the body’s overreaction to a particular substance. Once the foreign substance is detected, the immune system attacks that area of the body. A lot of jewelry is made from nickel and many people are allergic to it. The condition is generally referred to as “allergic contact dermatitis.” Even jewelery that is advertised as gold or silver often contains nickel alloys that are damaging to those sensitive to it. Eliminating nickel from your earring collection is the best way of preventing allergic breakouts on your ears.

Hypoallergenic Earrings

Unfortunately, even jewelry labeled as “hypoallergenic” often contains trace amounts of nickel and can still cause a skin reaction. Many earrings labeled as hypoallergenic are made of stainless steel that contains nickel alloys. Surgical steel does not contain nickel alloys at all, so for severe skin allergies try surgical steel earrings. Gold overlays can be then placed over them, giving you the beauty of gold earrings without any of the usual irritation. The gold should be 24 carat, however, or else you still run a risk of nickel alloy exposure.

Discovering a Skin Allergy

Patch testing helps verify that nickel is the source of your skin allergy. The procedure should be done before you buy any more jewelry to prevent you from wasting money. A doctor systematically places a small amount of various substances on a small patch of your skin to see what your body reacts to. While nickel allergies are the most common source of earring irritation, some people are sensitive to gold or other materials and nickel may not be involved. Find out for sure so you can get earrings that are suited for your individual physiology.

Treating Ear Rashes

Let your ears fully heal before putting new earrings in, even nickel-free ones. An allergic rash can get infected if it is not properly treated. Remove any earrings at the first sign of a rash, itching or pain and don’t replace them until those symptoms are completely gone. Rinse the ears with an antiseptic to prevent infection from settling into the rash. See your doctor if symptoms persist more than a few days following the removal of the earrings.

Skin allergies are stressful and frequently embarrassing. However, they don’t have to prevent you from enjoying any and all fashion accessories that appeal to you. With patch testing and some simple changes in what your jewelry is made of, you can enjoy a wide array of earrings, necklaces, watches and other jewelry without the fear of health repercussions. Talk to your doctor and do some research to find the earrings that work best for you both aesthetically and health-wise.