ITCHY EARS? Your Jewelry Could be the Cause

Itchy ears or Contact Dermitis affect many people, the culprit is often nickel in costume jewelry. One of the most asked questions from customers at the Artisan Markets where I sell is "are your earrings hypo-allergenic"? Usually followed by stories of friends or family members who are plagued by rashes and allergic reactions to many earrings. This leads to a discussion and assurances of our nickel free earrings and our not so secret weapon Niobium

Exactly what causes most of the problematic itching? Nickel. A common, often used metal on its own or mixed with other metals as a solid base for silver or gold plating. That leads us to talk about what is the plating on top of the dastardly nickel? And what options are there for earring posts? How can I be sure of comfort for my ears? No more itchy ears please.

Silver Plate is a thin layer of silver electro plated to another metal. The base is usually an alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes nickel or brass. As this layer thins or wears, the base metal can become exposed and the base metal shows through. This can be problematic for those with allergies to the base metals and you guessed it, itchy ears.

Silver filled has a thicker layer of real silver over a base metal. It is less likely to wear through to the base and retains it silver shine and offers protection for those inclined to have allergic reactions to metals. 

Sterling Silver has silver and other metals mixed with the softer silver and this is what will make it tarnish. Pure silver is not practical for making most jewelry. And the small percent of metal can still affect some with itchy ears.

Surgical Steel is used in jewelry and medical applications. Most people are not allergic to surgical steel and it is used for ear and body piercings. 

Niobium has the strength of titanium and is ideal for jewelry as it has no nickel, the common culprit for causing allergies. Niobium is the number one choice for the highly sensitive. It is unique in that it is gray or black and can be incorporated easily into an earring design. Nice and Pretty Jewelry carries niobium ear hooks and can include them in your custom earrings for comfort or switch your favorite earrings to a Niobium post. Ask about this service

When shopping for earrings and if the type of metal is as important as the fashion style please consider your options and comfort. If you have any questions please send me a note  or look for these options on Nice and Pretty Jewelry site.


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