Metal allergies are caused because your skin mistakes metal for some threatening substance and activates your body’s defenses. This kind of problem with your immune system can develop at just about any age, so you may find that certain kinds of metal bother you that never bothered you before. Take a moment to learn more about metal allergies and how you can buy the right jewelry to avoid them.
Common Types and Symptoms Of Metal Allergies
To buy the right jewelry to avoid a metal allergy, it helps to understand why some people react to metals that other people find harmless. Even though scientists don’t know exactly why some people are sensitive to certain types of metals that don’t bother others, they do know that this allergy tends to be genetic. If you have a parent or sibling with a metal allergy, you are more likely to develop one.
Some typical, mild symptoms of metal allergies include bumps, red splotches, and an itchy or burning sensation. In some cases, you might even react by developing a runny nose or cough. Even worse, a few people feel more serious symptoms that could include chronic fatigue and even cognitive impairment when they are exposed to metal that they have an allergy to. If you see or feel any symptoms, you should not ignore them because they can get worse over time.
Nickel appears to be the most common source of allergic reaction. Some other kinds of metal. that tend to provoke allergic responses include copper, cobalt, and chromium. The problem for people is that these are common metals that are used in jewelry, watches, appliances, and fasteners for clothing. They are also used to create alloys with other metals. People with serious allergies have to take care to purchase safe jewelry from Elizabeth Diamond Company Jewelry and Repair shop.
Buying The Best Jewelry For People With Metal Allergies
People who have typical metal allergies can still find plenty of attractive jewelry. It’s just important to know what to look for and what to avoid. While gold and silver are thought of as hypoallergenic metals, there are still a couple of things that buyers should know about. These warnings have to do with alloys and plating.
Be Careful Of Gold And Silver Alloys
When many people think of a hypoallergenic metal, they tend to think of gold first It’s true that few if any people will react badly to pure gold. The problem is that most gold jewelry is actually an alloy that may contain copper, nickel, or another problem metal. Pure gold is too soft for jewelry, and it’s also cheaper to dilute pure gold with base metals.
Problems with gold alloys are particularly common on such common and pretty metals like rose gold and white gold. When selecting gold alloys, look for a purity of at least 14K because more pure forms of gold are less likely to cause problems.
Is Jewelry Gold Or Silver Plated?
Very often, jewelry makers will use a base metal to make pieces and then just plate these with a very thin layer of silver or gold. Obviously, plated jewelry will cost less than jewelry that is entirely made up of precious metals. At the same time, this plated jewelry still looks as beautiful as the metal used for plating.
As long as the plating is intact, it should protect sensitive skin. The problem is that a thin plating can wear off over time to expose the base metal underneath. When purchasing plated jewelry, make sure it has a thick layer of precious metal to protect your skin.
Plating Or Re-Plating Jewelry
If you have old plated jewelry that has become worn, you can also take it to a jeweler to get more plating added. If you have jewelry that you love but aggravates your metal allergy, you might also consult with a jeweler about it. It’s possible that they can plate that jewelry with silver, gold, or another hypoallergenic metal for a reasonable fee.
Consider Pewter As A Hypoallergenic Jewelry Metal
Pewter is an alloy of that is mostly tin, but it also contains a small amount of copper. Most people are not sensitive to pewter, even if they are sensitive to pure copper jewelry. One good thing about pewter is that it is much cheaper than gold or silver. Even though finished pieces may look a lot like silver, pewter also will not tarnish the way that silver will.
You should be wary of any antique pewter pieces because jewelry makers used to use lead in the alloy. Wearing lead near the skin is unhealthy because this metal can actually be toxic. If you like pewter, make sure you choose modern pewter pieces that are made without lead. In addition, some pewter alloys may contain nickel, which is one of the most common causes of metal allergies.
Other Jewelry Metals For People With Metal Allergies
Typically, the precious metals that don’t cause allergic reactions include platinum, gold, titanium, and sterling silver. Besides these precious metals, some hypoallergenic jewelry makers use aluminum, especially for those parts of jewelry that have close contact with skin. For instance, earrings often have sterling silver or aluminum ear clasps even if other parts are made with base metals.
Some people have the mistaken idea that surgical steel or stainless steel will not aggravate allergies, but today, most of these products are made with some nickel. It’s better to avoid stainless steel jewelry or fastenings.
Why Buy Jewelry Made From Hypoallergenic Metals?
It’s better to be safe than sorry. As mentioned before, people can develop metal allergies when they are children, young adults, and even senior citizens. Like other allergies, more exposure may increase the chance of developing an allergy later. In some cases, these symptoms of these allergies may become very serious.
People who are buying gifts may not know if the recipient has a metal allergy or not, and nobody wants to give a present that will give somebody a rash. It’s always prudent to favor hypoallergenic metals when purchasing jewelry.