Do you think that the jewelry you wear could potentially make you sick? Are there specific metals or types of jewelry that could make you sick or cause joint pains? What can you do to avoid these issues, especially if you are at a high risk of suffering from them?
This article shares insights into everything you need to know about the potential side effects of jewelry and who may be at risk of falling ill from wearing specific kinds of jewelry. Keep reading to learn more:
Can Real Jewelry Make You Sick?
A well-known fact about jewelry is that how good the jewelry looks and how you feel with the jewelry on and after its removal depends on the materials that the jewelry is made of. The metal components used in jewelry making can easily cause some form of allergic reactions, especially for the metals that you are sensitive to.
Unfortunately, you don’t always know what metals are in the jewelry because even the manufacturers of the best fine jewelry will lie to you at times. Meaning you need to be a little more careful about the jewelry you buy, the metal alloys in the jewelry, what they are made of, and the likelihood of the metals causing allergies or making you sick.
Real, high-quality, or fine jewelry is often made of the best quality and skin-safe materials, meaning that the risk of allergies is quite low. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, especially if you have extremely high skin sensitivities, in which case, you’d struggle with allergies when wearing fine jewelry made of 14k rose gold, for example, if a negligible amount of nickel is present in the jewelry.
If you are looking for jewelry that is considered real jewelry, you may want to avoid the jewelry made of the following metals – nickel, stainless steel (rather than surgical-grade SS), copper, rose gold, brass, and some other varieties of gold jewelry.
Can fake (inexpensive) jewelry make you sick?
While jewelry wouldn’t inherently make you sick, you’d suffer some negative effects from the jewelry if you have metal allergies, specific allergies to specific metals in the jewelry. And for individuals with extreme metal allergies, the reactions may be deadly to them.
This means that in as much as necklaces, earrings, or rings can look stunning, and you may have fallen in love with them because they look great on your friend, having sensitive skin means that you may not look or feel so great after wearing the jewelry.
The good news is that this doesn’t happen when you wear any kind of jewelry, and you’d still be able to wear jewelry comfortably once you’ve figured out and avoided the problematic jewelry or the metals that cause the reactions.
That said, you should know that your risk of allergies is higher if you wear imitation accessories and jewelry. So, if you are wondering if wearing inexpensive jewelry puts you at a higher risk of allergies, the answer is yes.
Though attractive, this cheap jewelry often is the cause of most allergies because it is made of cheaper metals/ materials, which, unfortunately, have allergens. If you are buying fashion or costume jewelry, for example, and the jewelry contains metals like nickel or even aluminum, there would be a risk of allergies. You may also have an allergic reaction to jewelry made of gold or silver, especially for plated pieces or pieces of jewelry made of low karat gold/ silver.
Overall, nickel is the nightmarish metal that causes most allergies. If you are allergic to nickel, you will notice redness on your skin, incessant itching, burning, watering, or even scarring.
We’ll also add that in as much as most people with nickel allergies struggle with issues like irritated skin, itchiness, burning, etc., a small percentage of the population experiences a more intense reaction to metals like nickel, and these individuals experience adverse reactions that would manifest at the same level as anaphylactic shocks. This is extreme and rare, but some people cannot tolerate metal allergies from nickel or other metals, meaning they actually fall sick from wearing jewelry.
Keep in mind that most of us have genetic predispositions that increase our risks of allergies, which means that you may be inherently allergic to nickel, for example, but having been exposed to the metal in the past, your body developed a level of tolerance to the metal, and that would cause less severe allergic reactions.
Some of the metals used in cheap jewelry that you should avoid include the plated jewelry, brass or gold-plated brass, low-karat rose gold, copper, stainless steel, and nickel. Copper and nickel are often used in the alloying processes for most jewelry, meaning you can’t buy copper or nickel jewelry, but you’ll most likely get home with jewelry whose constituents are made of either of these metals.
Also, some of the often so-called normal or harmless metals like cobalt, nickel, and chromium are the most common culprits for skin allergies.
Can jewelry cause joint pain?
While this isn’t a common occurrence for most people, there are cases where jewelry causes joint paint.
This often happens following severe metal hypersensitivity reactions following prolonged exposure to specific metal allergens, for instance, implants, jewelry that is never removed, and in other cases, the metal ions that are eaten or inhaled.
These hypersensitivity reactions will result in either muscle or chronic joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. These effects will cause generalized body fatigue and lethargy/ low energy levels.
It’s also been reported that people that struggle with fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome also struggle with metal hypersensitivity reactions that result in joint and muscle pain.
Before you scurry away and throw away your favorite, expensive jewelry, let’s make one thing clear – the likelihood of your jewelry causing joint pain is quite low, and it often happens only if the skin is exposed to the allergens frequently. The reason for this is that your skin can tolerate a certain level of contact with metal allergens, but persistent contact by the allergens and the constant irritation of the skin, especially if the affected area of the skin remains moist and is affected by perspiration, then the damage inflicted will be more damage. In such cases, the protective layer of the skin is damaged, and if not remedied, say around joints, there will be significant damage suffered.
Bear in mind that the metal hypersensitivity reactions come about when the body’s immune system views certain metal ions as foreign bodies and threats. When this happens, the cells of your immune system will attack the metals, causing inflammation and pain.
Can fake (inexpensive) jewelry cause joint pain?
There is a possibility that your favorite jewelry could be the reason for the incessant joint pains you have had for months now.
The reason for this is that in as much as some of the jewelry we wear often is beneficial to your health, this isn’t always the case, and some of the effects that the jewelry may have on your health could be negative. The jewelry could make you sick, but others would protect your joints.
Some of the problematic metals you should be aware of include cadmium that affects the kidneys and other organs; lead, which affects the neurological system; and nickel that causes the most frustrating form of contact, eczema.
Back to joint pain, you may have heard about the healing effects of some bracelets. There is a wide array of highly lauded bracelets and metals that have been said to help in the management of joint pain, especially for individuals that struggle with ailments like arthritis. And though there is no direct evidence that shows the effectiveness of these metal bracelets in healing and managing arthritic pain, most people agree that some types of jewelry could help with joint pain. What you should know, however, is that fake jewelry is hardly considered one of the good options for metallic bracelets that help with joint pain.
In fact, the reverse is true, with most of the inexpensive bracelets contributing to joint pain by causing skin irritation and flare-ups.
So, while the cheap jewelry will not contribute to the internal joint pain directly, the external effects of the jewelry will only worsen the joint pain.
Though jewelry can cause allergies that increase discomfort for persons struggling with joint pain, there are special kinds of skin-safe and high-quality jewelry that help ease joint pain – copper, for example.
However, you should avoid jewelry made of allergens like nickel, cobalt, cadmium, lead, or chromium because these cause metal hypersensitivity reactions that would adversely affect your healing process. The allergens may cause extreme allergic reactions that will leave you in more pain and discomfort.
That said, you should avoid wearing certain kinds of jewelry and accessories once you notice irritation.
Severe metal hypersensitivity reactions, for example, result from long-term exposure and the allergenic reaction of the metals, and in such cases, the metals cause muscle and joint pain.