• Guide to Jewelry Allergies :: How to Prevent Jewelry Allergies

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    If you are experiencing any type of rash, red, pink, or blue skin discoloration, itching, burning sensation, or a general skin breakout from wearing your gold jewelry, chances are you are allergic to one or more of the metals that make up your jewelry. By far that most common culprit is nickel. About 1 in 8 people worldwide have a nickel allergy. Other common terms for this are Contact Dermatitis and Nickel Dermatitis.

     

    Nickel is present in all types of gold and silver jewelry. Since pure gold and pure silver are too soft for many types of jewelry, nickel, zinc and copper are mixed with the pure precious metal to give the jewelry the desired characteristics fro the jeweler. Nickel is also commonly mixed with platinum, white gold, gold-plated jewelry and even costume jewelry.

     

    Occasionally people are actually allergic to gold, but it is far more common that the nickel is what is actually causing the allergic reaction.

     


    Everyone is different in terms of their sensitivity to nickel. Some can comfortably wear jewelry with some amount of nickel in it, while others get allergic reactions when any nickel at all is present. Also, it’s important to realize that people’s allergies change over time. You might be able to wear jewelry with some nickel content for most of your life, and then one day you notice a bad rash from the very same jewelry.

     

    Perspiration commonly makes the situation worse. Sweat comes out of the skin and reacts with the nickel in the jewelry, dissolving it. This creates a nickel salt compound which can produce strong skin reactions when you are allergic to nickel.

     

    Fresh piercings are especially apt to exhibit reactions. Since the skin has been punctured, the nickel can come in direct contact with the open wound. If you just had a fresh piercing, use a stainless steel fitting instead of a gold one until the wound is completely healed.

     

    Even leftover soap and water can become a problem, especially if you wear earrings or rings into the shower. The water and soap washes away the protective skin oils and allows the nickel in the jewelry to come into direct contact with the skin. Either remove your jewelry before washing or rinse and dry very thoroughly wherever you are wearing your jewelry. Household cleansers can do the same thing so make sure to remove your jewelry before using household cleaning products.
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    Tips to Eliminate Jewelry Allergies

     

    1. Use talcum powder where you tend to sweat on your jewelry. This will absorb some of your sweat and keep you drier longer.
    2. Wear loose fitting jewelry. Rings and necklaces should have a small gap between the jewelry and your skin so that air can pass through, keeping the area dry and sweat free
    3. Clear nail polish can be applied to your jewelry, especially on the side that is nost often in contact with your skin. This seals the nickel in the jewelry and prevents direct contact with your skin.
    4. Professional jewelers can usually offer a good solution if you want to continue to wear the same jewelry. They can put a coating of palladium, rhodium or some other metal over your jewelry to seal the nickel inside while still maintaining the bright shine that you love.
    5. Buy jewelry of higher purity. If you have problems wearing 14k gold, try 18k or 22k gold. Purer jewelry will cost a bit more, but it pales in comparison to the feeling of wearing jewelry that gives you confidence and keeps you allergy free.

     

    Also read:
    Why Is My Jewelry Turning My Skin Green? | How To Prevent Gold Jewelry From Discoloring Your Skin

     

    Why Does My Jewelry Give Me A Rash? | How To Prevent Rashes From Gold Jewelry