Necklaces are a great choice of jewelry that can transform your appearance in an instant.
They are versatile and come in different shapes, colors, and designs. From large statement necklaces to simple plain chains, it’s all a matter of preference.
Sometimes, however, you may experience pain when wearing a necklace.
There could be several reasons for this. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the main reasons as well as solutions to the problem.
Why Do Necklaces Irritate My Neck?
Necklaces are a common preference for most people when it comes to jewelry. There are a vast number of options to suit individual preferences. They also go well paired with almost all forms of dressing.
There are those of us, however, who are incapable of wearing necklaces. This is because of the irritation you may feel on your neck if you wore one. There are various reasons for this irritation. The following are some of the main reasons:
This is the most common type of skin allergy when it comes to jewelry. So, if you notice an irritation on your neck, it could mean that the necklace has traces of nickel. This is possible because nickel is found in many metal alloys. The irritation could therefore be an allergic reaction to the nickel.
While nickel is not a reactive metal, it does get absorbed into the skin when worn. The immune system then immediately identifies it as an intruder and tries to fight against it, hence the allergic reaction.
To identify a nickel allergic reaction, you will notice the irritation is only where the nickel came into contact with your skin. Additionally, the area may be red with swellings or a rash.
It could also be a dry patch or blister that breaks leaving crusts and scales. In some cases, it may be itchy, which only worsens the reaction.
If left untreated it could cause dark, cracked leathery skin. Ensure you see a doctor, especially if, the swelling or rash appears to have pus, which could be a sign of an infection.
This could also be another reason why you may feel irritated wearing necklaces. While they share some similarities, skin sensitivity is different from an allergic reaction.
While an allergy is when your skin reacts to a particular element, skin sensitivity involves delicate skin that reacts easily to several things. It is, however, possible to have an allergy and sensitive skin.
To identify if your skin is sensitive, you’ll notice that it is easily irritable and reacts easily. In most cases, you’ll feel tingly or itchy and notice some redness on the affected area, the neck in this case.
In the worst cases, there could be a slight rash. Different people with sensitive skin are triggered by different things. So, there could be something in the necklace not necessarily nickel.
While some people have sensitive skin, others are particularly sensitive to metal. It does not necessarily mean that such individuals have sensitive skin, although that is mostly the case.
Metal sensitivity means your skin is specifically irritated by metal ornaments, in this case, metal necklaces.
This does not exclusively mean nickel but includes a wide range of metals, including gold and stainless steel. While some individuals may be sensitive to a particular metal, some are irritable to all forms of metals.
The symptoms are normally similar to your skin sensitivity, which is redness, itchiness, or a tingly feeling that can be irritating.
Solutions or Alternatives
When you get irritation from wearing necklaces, it does not mean that you should stop wearing them together.
There are various ways around the reason behind your irritation, be it an allergy or sensitive skin. Some of the solutions or alternative you can try are as follows:
Wear high-quality jewelry or fine jewelry, avoid cheap or fake jewelry
As the saying goes, cheap ends up being expensive. It may be tempting to save some money and buy a cheap replica, especially when you can barely spot the difference.
There are higher chances, however, that you will react with the necklace. This is because most cheap jewelry may contain traces of nickel or other irritable substances.
With fine jewelry, however, you can be sure that it is nickel-free and made of pure elements. Just know how to differentiate between the two.
Wear hypoallergenic jewelry such as stainless-steel jewelry
Other great options for those with nickel allergies are sterling silver and 24k gold jewelry.
Niobium cut jewelry is especially, a great choice even for those with metal sensitivity.
It is highly hypoallergenic as well as scratch and carrion resistant, hence durable.
See the doctor
If you’re unsure whether or not you have sensitive skin, metal sensitivity, or metal allergy, you can always consult your dermatologist.
Also, ensure you see one if you already have a reaction from wearing a necklace and there are signs of an infection. Alternatively, it is said that anti-inflammatory steroid cream is useful in helping with an allergic reaction.
Use clear nail polish
If buying expensive jewelry is not within your budget, you can protect your skin by coating your fashion necklace with clear nail polish.
That way the material of the necklace will not come into contact with your skin and you will not feel any form of irritation.
Consider wearing timber and fabric jewelry
This is the best option for you if you are completely sensitive to metal. Although some individuals with sensitive skin may be irritated by the fabric, timber and fabric jewelry are the most skin-friendly option.
You can try most African-style jewelry since they are mostly made with timber and fabric.
Aside from Nickel allergies others also report having other metal allergies including gold, hence the cause of irritation from jewelry differs for everyone.
The most important thing is to understand your skin. First find out whether you could have a nickel allergy, metal sensitivity, or sensitive skin.
This knowledge will then guide you on what type of necklaces to buy or whether to forgo wearing necklaces altogether. Aside from skin irritation, sometimes wearing heavy statement necklaces or tight chains could end up hurting your neck as well.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.