How to Find Earrings for Sensitive Ears
Finding earrings for sensitive ears used to seem like an impossible task.
So many earrings are labeled hypoallergenic or nickel free, with the implication that they will be safe for sensitive ears. Unfortunately, as most of us who have struggled to find earrings know, hypoallergenic earrings and nickel free earrings can still cause a lot of pain.
I have good news - finding earrings for sensitive ears does not have to be a struggle anymore.
Here is Tini Lux's painless guide to finding earrings for sensitive ears:
Step 1. Understand what it means to have sensitive ears.
Typically, having sensitive ears is something that occurs gradually after years of having you ears pierced. The common symptoms are redness and itching which develops into soreness, swelling, and even bleeding. These symptoms only occur when you are wearing earrings, and subside relatively soon after you take your earrings out.
If these symptoms sound familiar, you don't just have sensitive ears. You have a metal allergy
Step 2. Understand Metal Allergies
Metal allergies are contact allergies, which means that the symptoms only occur when your body is in contact with the allergen. Contact allergies develop over time and extended contact with the reactive substance. This is why you can wear earrings for years without issues, and seemingly overnight they all start to bother your ears.
Once a contact allergy or metal allergy has developed, even trace amounts of the offending substance can cause a reaction within minutes.
Step 3. Decipher the Common Labels
Now, the labels "hypoallergenic earrings
" and "nickel free earrings" make more sense knowing that they are in reference to metal allergies. Hypoallergenic literally means less likely to cause and allergy. Nickel free means that the earrings are made without nickel, because nickel allergies are very common (more than 1 in 5 people are allergic to nickel!).
In theory, both hypoallergenic and nickel free earrings would be better for people with sensitive ears. In reality, they are usually not.
First of all, neither of these labels are regulated. They have basically become marketing terms to trick people into buying jewelry.
Secondly, when you break these terms down, they really don't mean anything. Hypoallergenic means less likely to cause an allergy. But if you are allergic to something, you wouldn't want something less likely to cause an allergy, right? You want something that will not cause an allergy.
Nickel free means that the earrings do not contain nickel. The huge problem here is that nickel is not the only metal that can cause a metal allergy. In fact, the vast majority of metals are very reactive with the human body. So if the earrings contain even trace amounts of other offending metals, they will still cause a reaction.
Step 4. What Earrings are Best for Sensitive Ears
It's not all doom and gloom for people with sensitive ears. As I said above most metals are very reactive with the human body. The good news is that not all metals are reactive. The following metals, in their pure state, are considered biocompatible, meaning they can coexist peacefully with the human body:
The VERY important thing to note is that jewelry MUST be made with these metals in their pure state to be considered biocompatible. As soon as these metals become alloyed (are mixed with other metals), the jewelry is no longer biocompatible because the other metals can cause an allergic reaction.
Step 5. Choose the Right Hypoallergenic Earrings
Like I said above, I have good news! Finding earrings for sensitive ears is no longer difficult. Once you understand what is causing the sensitivity, and know what to look for, it is much easier to narrow down your search.
The cause of sensitivity to earrings is actually an allergy to the reactive metals that most jewelry is made with. Now that you know that, you simply have to look for earrings made with non-reactive metals. Easy right? Always choose earrings made with pure titanium, niobium, 24k gold, or 24k platinum.
At Tini Lux, we make all of our jewelry with pure titanium.
It was crazy to us that people had to go searching the depths of the internet for earrings that wouldn't cause a painful reaction. Our goal was to create chic jewelry that is safe for everyone to wear, especially people with metal allergies and sensitive skin. Even customers with Lupus and eczema have been able to wear our jewelry comfortably!
Shop our collection of hypoallergenic studs and hoops made with pure titanium without worrying about the misleading labels of "nickel free earrings" or "hypoallergenic earrings".
If you recently just got your ears pierced or are thinking about getting them pierced for the first time, make you sure you check out our starter collection. The starter studs are perfect for daily wear, healing sensitive ears and can be worn as sleeper earrings.
Step 6. Ask Questions!
If you're curious about metal allergies, sensitive ears, or the jewelry we sell at Tini Lux, please reach out! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to answer any questions. If you are shopping for jewelry on other websites and want to know if their earrings will be safe for your ears, it is worth reaching out to them as well! Most companies will be happy to provide you with information about their products.
Lauren Haveman 11/1/2022
Thank you for explaining metal allergies so well! I’m a pediatrician and use your words with my 8 year old daughter and other patients dealing with contact dermatitis from earrings. (My little one is allergic to her Rowan studs so it’s been a 5 month struggle so far and thankful to have finally found your products.)