We can all agree that the thought of buying and wearing new jewelry is thrilling and something we wouldn’t mind doing often. Unfortunately, the cheap set of earrings you recently got may end up being one of your not-so-good jewelry investments because the entire set may cause uncomfortable skin reactions.
But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t wear your jewelry or stop buying new jewelry altogether. This is because in as much as most of the jewelry may be problematic given your sensitive skin; there are remedies that you could opt for, saving your money in the process.
We’ll look at some of these remedies next, but first, a look at the reasons for jewelry rash.
Why some of your jewelry give you a rash?
While it might be a little hard to pinpoint the exact reason or the cause of the adverse reactions people experience after wearing jewelry, one of the most common reasons for jewelry allergies is the presence of nickel in the jewelry.
That said, nickel allergies are quite common, with one out of every eight people having the allergy. It manifests as an itchy, red rash and swelling, and in other cases, it may cause pain.
Though known as a common cause of allergies, nickel is still used and commonly found in jewelry because its chemical properties ensure the strengthening of the metal alloys. It also aids in rhodium and gold plating processes, which is why it’s used in most jewelry.
Jewelry allergies are not, however, limited to nickel, and there are several other cases where the metals that cause allergies would include bronze, copper, and brass – all because they have nickel too.
7 Ways To Prevent Rash
1.Opt for jewelry with minimal/ low nickel content
Although this might be the most expensive fix, it is also the easiest fix. Some of the best kinds of jewelry materials you could opt for are regarded as hypoallergenic, and though they contain traces of nickel, they are largely safely on your skin.
Some of these metal options include Surgical 316L stainless steel, sterling silver, palladium, titanium, and platinum, among others.
Niobium: The other metal options that make safe jewelry include niobium, which is used for medical implants because it contains similar features to titanium. Niobium is free of lead and nickel, and it’s a safer option if you struggle with metal allergies. The best part is that niobium comes in a number of bright colors, including copper tones, black, natural grey, yellows, and bright blues.
Surgical Stainless Steel: This is the other safe option for you. Surgical stainless steel is a metal alloy made of chromium, steel, and a trace amount of nickel. The nickel content in surgical stainless steel is significantly low, which makes it a good option for you.
Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is a silver alloy with 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. It may have some nickel, though, which means that you may want to rhodium plate it to reduce the risk of allergies.
Higher karat solid gold jewelry – pure gold is too soft, and it cannot be molded into jewelry. To ensure the right level of hardness and strength to the gold, other metal alloys are incorporated into the gold. Some of these metal alloys include copper, silver, palladium, etc. These metals strengthen the gold. Unfortunately, they may contain a small percentage of nickel. Now, with lower karat gold jewelry, the nickel in the jewelry is high, and the allergic reactions experienced could be severe. On the other hand, the higher karat gold pieces will have more of the pure gold and only trace amounts of nickel, hence a lower risk of skin allergies and rashes.
The other safe metal options include titanium, palladium, and platinum.
2.Gold and/or rhodium plating
The other way to prevent jewelry rash is to get the jewelry plated with gold or rhodium. Gold plating is a preferable option for most people, but just make sure that the jewelry is plated with high-karat gold. The reason for this is that gold is naturally hypoallergenic, which means that if you add a layer of gold to the jewelry, you will be creating a barrier between the metals in the jewelry that triggered the allergies in the first place and your skin.
To get the jewelry gold plated, the jeweler will polish it first, then clean it a few times before cleansing it in distilled water before placing it in a tank with the gold solution. The other necessary ingredient is electricity, which is passed through the tank, allowing the base metal to bond to the gold. The best part is that this bonding process will not affect the stones in your jewelry, although it might be a good idea to remove fragile stones, lime rhinestones, and other natural stones beforehand.
On the other hand, there is rhodium plating, which might be a great solution for you if you are looking for the jewelry with a nice, silvery-white colored finish. Like gold plating, rhodium plating also uses distilled water for rinsing, and the piece to be plated is placed in a plating tank. Like gold, rhodium is also hypoallergenic, which makes rhodium plating a good way of protecting your sensitive skin.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to plating metals like brass, copper, stainless steel, or bronze, the plating processes follow several other steps because of the chemical state of the metals. These metals often require pre-treatment, but you end up with a hypoallergenic piece.
3.Use Clear Nail Polish
The use of clear nail polish might not be the most elegant option, but the coat of clear polish could prevent further allergic reactions and rashes from appearing on the skin. The catch is that you’d have to apply the nail polish every few days, especially if you wear that piece of jewelry every day. That said, this isn’t a fail-safe solution, and you may have to look for long-lasting solutions.
If the nail polish trick and even plating fail, and you are absolutely certain that you must wear the jewelry, you could have it recreated.
Recreation means that the new materials used for the recreation will not cause any allergies. For the recreation, the jeweler would have to take the original pieces of jewelry then create a 3D design mimicking the jewelry.
From the 3D, the jeweler would print a wax mold to create the jewelry. Unfortunately, this will be an expensive piece of jewelry because the mold is made of high-quality metals, and you wouldn’t have to plate it again. Also, you won’t struggle with allergies anymore.
5.Keep the area that the jewelry goes dry.
Whether you are experiencing allergies from wearing rings or bracelets, you have to wash your hands thoroughly, then keep the skin dry. This might not be a foolproof solution, but it may help relieve the irritation.
7.Wear the jewelry part-time
8.Avoid fitted jewelry
There are some of the most effective options for preventing rashes from jewelry. So, if you weren’t sure how or where to start, the options above might be the best for you.