Why Do Sterling Silver Earrings Hurt My Ears?(Updated in 2024)

Hey! I finally find the Answer!

Sterling silver has a lot of pros, some being that it is a durable metal and quite affordable too. However, not everyone has the same experience with the metal when it comes to jewelry. There are instances where people do wear earrings made of sterling silver, and their ears end up hurting. What is the cause of that, and what can you do about it? Let’s explore.


What is sterling silver?

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

First, we have to highlight what sterling silver is. Sterling silver is an alloy composed of 92.5 percent silver and other metals, usually copper or nickel.

The reason why silver has to get alloyed is that by itself, it is delicate metal and prone to tarnishing and damage. It is also too soft to get used for the purposes of jewelry making or industrial and commercial use.

Pure silver is instead used for investment purposes. For jewelers to be able to work with silver, they have to add other metals to make it stronger and durable, and also being able to withstand the jewelry-making process.

Therefore, when you see an item of jewelry with the sign 925 or variations of it, know that you are dealing with sterling silver.


Why sterling silver earrings could be hurting your ears?

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

There are a number of reasons that your earrings could be hurting you. We will focus on the three main reasons, with particular attention given to the presence of nickel because that tends to be the biggest culprit.


1. There is nickel in your earrings

A majority of allergies from jewelry get caused by nickel. If you know that you have sensitive earrings, then you should avoid any jewelry with nickel present.

That is especially if you’re getting a new piercing on any part of your body. Even after the piercing heals, steer clear of any jewelry that has nickel in it.

There are two metals mentioned used to make sterling silver; it could be copper or nickel. The quickest way to know if there is nickel present is by asking the jeweler or supplier. They have a duty to disclose such information to you.

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

Generally, in the USA, Europe and other territories have banned the use of nickel in jewelry and therefore, it ought not to be present.

However, if you’re importing from an online supplier, say for example from China, it will be challenging to know if there is nickel present or not. In that case, your skin will be quick to tell you that you’re having an allergic reaction if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Rashes or bumps on the skin
  • Itching, in some cases severe
  • Redness
  • Patchy skin
  • Blisters with fluid in very severe cases

It is worth noting that the allergic reaction does not happen instantly. You might enjoy your earrings for a day or two before you show one of the following symptoms.

Even when doing a patch test at the doctor’s to determine if you have a nickel allergy, you’ll have to keep the patch on for 48 hours. When the time lapses the reaction (or lack thereof) will show itself.

It is advisable that you get your earrings from a licensed jeweler. It might cost higher than what you could get it from, for example, Ali Express, but you’ll be assured that it is nickel-free.

Otherwise, when dealing with suppliers on these online platforms, gravitate toward those who are verified. You can then drop them a message or email to find out if their earrings contain nickel.


2. The finding is large, or the earring is heavy

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

When the finding is larger than the size of your regular earrings, then you will feel some immediate discomfort.

In some cases, it outright hurts because the small hole is getting stretched. You should compare the size of the finding with your other earring to ensure that it’s not a cause for your aching ears.

The other reason for an earache is that the earring you’re wearing is heavy. If it has gemstones on it, then you will feel the weight of it on your earlobe. At first, your ears will be able to take the weight of it, but as the day wears on, your ears will definitely begin to hurt. Here we have gravity doing its work and pulling down on the piercing. Keep that in mind when you’re earring fine jewelry.


3. It is gold plated

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

There are items of jewelry that get coated with a layer of gold. You’re able to note such pieces first from the price but makings such as 925 that let you know it is sterling silver. In such a case, you might think that the sterling silver being gold platted is enough.

The reality is that over time, this top coating wears off, leaving the base metal exposed. Therefore, even if you choose gold plated sterling silver earrings, you’re likely to experience a nickel allergy in the long run.


What to do?

Nickel-Free Earrings Available On Amazon-Click the Picture to Check Price

 If you’re ears hurt when you wear sterling silver, you have to go back to the drawing board. Some of the things highlighted here have to do with you doing your research.

Check out brands online that make hypoallergenic earrings; that means that they won’t have nickel because it is an allergen. Also, for assurance, check out what metals they use to ensure that it hasn’t been falsely labeled.

The other aspect is that you’ll have to be careful when purchasing your sterling silver earrings. You can’t just spot something at the fair and buy it. You’ll have to find a trusted jeweler or even online vendor to be making your purchases from.

In the meantime, should your ears hurt when earing sterling silver, give the ears a break and see if the reaction will reduce. You can use antiseptic to clean out residue metal from your ear.

Should the situation get worse, visit your doctor, letting them know you suspect that the sterling earrings you wore could be the culprit.



After you guys reading this post, you will know why your ears hurt when you wear silver earrings.

There are many reasons. but we list 3 main reasons.

For more related posts, please go to our home page or jewelry metals section to learn more.

See you guys in the next posts.

Hey! I finally find the Answer!