What are the Most Common Metal Allergies?

What are the Most Common Metal Allergies?

By Jill Burke
Let's talk about metal allergies. How common are they? What are the most common metal allergies? What metals should you avoid in your jewelry?
It may sound shocking, but metal allergies are an extremely common condition experienced by an estimated 10-15% of the population. With those numbers, it's no wonder hypoallergenic jewelry is becoming less of a niche for people with sensitive ears and more of a mainstream go-to. After all, why would you want to risk wearing jewelry that might cause an allergic reaction? Titanium earrings and niobium earrings for sensitive ears are the best options when you're looking for hypoallergenic earrings that won't irritate ears or necklaces that won't irritate skin, but what about the top metals to avoid? Well, it turns out the list is pretty simple.


Experts estimate that 20% of the US population has a nickel allergy. That's one in five people! Nickel is a leading culprit of contact dermatitis; an itchy or painful rash that results from the skin being in contact with an offending substance. While the reason for why people have nickel allergies is not entirely clear, what is clear is that the immune system in these situations rejects nickel as a harmful substance. That doesn't sound like something to put anywhere near your face!

Cobalt & Copper

While less common than Nickel, Cobalt and Copper have also been known to cause allergic reactions. Fortunately these metals are not as commonly used in jewelry, unlike nickel.

Metal Alloys

Stainless steel, gold, and other metals that are alloyed (mixed with other metals) may irritate skin if they contain even a trace amount of nickel. Remember that if you have a reaction to jewelry made of these materials; they could contain an offending substance.
When buying jewelry, you should be discerning about the materials used. It might be a throwaway piece if it causes you an allergic reaction. To avoid the headache of sussing out whether your jewelry or earrings will bother your skin, opt for a hypoallergenic option. At Tini Lux, all our earrings are hypoallergenic. Keep an eye out for new styles and remember, happy ears only!


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