Human skin is very resilient and can handle so many environmental factors that we expose it to every day. But sometimes even the simplest (and most beautiful) things can cause skin to become red, irritated, and itchy. Many people suffer from jewelry allergies, but you don’t have to avoid buying accessories just because you have sensitive skin.
Here is some information about jewelry allergies and how to prevent and treat them naturally.
Causes of Jewelry Allergies
The most common cause of a jewelry allergy is wearing inexpensive metals on the skin, such as nickel. Nickel is often used as a trace element in silver or gold jewelry to make it more affordable, stronger, or a more desirable color. Nickel is also used in certain clothing items, such as snaps, zippers, and bra fasteners.
You’ll usually see the effects of the allergy within about 24 hours of wearing a piece of jewelry. Aside from nickel, a person may have a skin reaction from jewelry because of friction a piece causes against the skin, unclean metal, a fit that is too tight, or infection at a piercing site. People of any age, gender, and skin type can have jewelry allergies. Some people’s immune systems are more sensitive to nickel than others, but a reaction may lessen after the first exposure or additional exposures.
Symptoms of Jewelry Allergies
Jewelry allergies often appear as red and itchy rashes that form watery blisters. The blisters may ooze pus and become yellowish in color. Some jewelry allergies present themselves as dry skin patches that almost look like a burn. The reaction usually only occurs in the specific place where the jewelry touched the skin, and the symptoms could last for up to a couple of weeks before they fully subside.
Natural Treatments for Jewelry Allergies
Jewelry allergies will typically go away on their own once you remove the piece and avoiding contact with similar allergens. A dermatologist may recommend topical creams to ease the irritation and itching, such as a corticosteroid or nonsteroidal cream. Oral antihistamines can also be taken for itching of the skin but may not be as effective for jewelry allergies as other types of conditions. Seagate Stop Rash can be used to ease itching and inflammation, while soothing natural moisturizers, such as Seagate Smooth Skin, can be used to help repair affected skin.
How to Prevent a Jewelry Allergy
There are testing kits available online and from dermatologists’ offices to determine if jewelry contains nickel. This is a good way to know whether you have an allergy to nickel and if you can safely and comfortably wear a new piece of jewelry.
When you shop for jewelry, look for hypoallergenic options that are made of stainless steel, at least 18-karat gold, or sterling silver. Leather, cloth, plastic, and titanium are safer substitutes for nickel. If you must wear nickel jewelry, create a clothing barrier between the jewelry and your skin. Also, before getting a new piercing, make sure that the studio uses nickel-free, surgical-grade stainless steel needles and maintains proper cleaning and sanitation procedures.