Hypoallergenic jewelry is designed to bring the beauty of jewelry pieces to the wearer without the worry of causing skin issues. Sensitivity to certain metals can result in irritation and the inability to wear a treasured piece. Whether wristwear or wedding bands, there are always options for sensitive skin.
Let’s take a closer look at hypoallergenic jewelry options, alloys, and allergy symptoms, from the jewelry experts at Dondero Jewelry in Vineland, NJ.
Hypoallergenic Jewelry for Those With Sensitive Skin
Alloys and Allergies
If you’re experiencing skin irritation from wearing jewelry, it’s likely a result of contact dermatitis, says Dondero Jewelry. Don’t worry, it’s not as serious as it sounds. It happens when the skin makes contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction.
And if we’re talking jewelry, that substance is almost always nickel. Nickel allergies are a common occurrence among jewelry wearers. And although the allergy is often mild, it can render your favorite jewelry unwearable.
Dondero adds that most jewelry metals are alloyed, meaning other metals, like nickel, are added to increase strength and improve durability during wear. But if you’re allergic to an alloy, strength and durability don’t mean much if you can’t wear a piece. Luckily, you have options with hypoallergenic jewelry and rhodium plating.
Symptoms of Irritation
Allergic reactions may become evident within a few hours to even a few days after exposure to nickel. Symptoms of a nickel allergy may include:
- Redness or changes in pigment
- Rash or bumps
- Dry skin
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms from wearing jewelry, remove the pieces and apply a wet compress to relieve itching or blisters. Keep affected areas moisturized with a soothing lotion, such as calamine lotion.
Types of Hypoallergenic Jewelry
According to Dondero Jewelry, not all metals used for “hypoallergenic jewelry” are always 100% allergy-free. Many precious metals are too soft to be used for jewelry, so instead, other types of metals are added. These types of metals (and their percentages) may determine if an allergic reaction occurs on sensitive skin. That said, let’s take a closer look at hypoallergenic jewelry options.
#1: Sterling Silver
Although not necessarily 100% hypoallergenic, sterling silver must maintain a 92.5% purity level, so any other metal used in the alloy that would ordinarily cause an allergic reaction may not cause any symptoms or irritation.
Like sterling silver, gold jewelry is almost always an alloy. Since 24K gold is too soft for jewelry, you often see 14K gold used instead. Because of this, other metals are added. Depending on your metal allergy, gold may still be a strong hypoallergenic option.
This precious metal is naturally hypoallergenic and a great choice for those with sensitive skin. It rarely tarnishes, so you can enjoy the shine without sensitivity.
Also, from the same family as platinum, rhodium, too, is hypoallergenic and is often used as a finish for white gold jewelry, giving pieces a lustrous, long-lasting shine.
With similar characteristics to platinum, palladium is growing in popularity for its durability, price point, and aversion to allergic reactions.
Frequently used in medical implants and tools, niobium may be a perfect alternative to other metals. It’s highly resistant to corrosion and contains no nickel, lead, or other additives.
Are your favorite jewelry pieces causing irritation to your skin or are you looking for hypoallergenic options for everyday wear? Dondero Jewelry in Vineland, NJ, offers on-site rhodium plating and jewelry customization. Contact them today to learn more about custom design and the benefits of plating your favorite pieces: 856.691.1164.