What Does It Mean to Have Sensitive Ears?

What Does It Mean to Have Sensitive Ears?

By Jacqueline Burke
I thought for years that I simply had sensitive ears.  To me, having sensitive ears meant that most earrings, even the hypoallergenic earrings and nickel free earrings, gave me a painful reaction that ranged from itching to swelling and bleeding.
    
I thought that having sensitive ears to jewelry was just something that I had to live with, and I didn't really think about what it really meant (from a medical or scientific point of view) to have "sensitive ears". 
   
Since then I have learned much more about what that phrase actually means, and much more about the jewelry that I put into my body.  Hopefully what I learned will be helpful to everyone else that is trying to figure out what is causing their sensitive ears.
   

What does it mean to have sensitive ears to jewelry?

 Most people define it by the symptoms: they experience a reaction when wearing earrings including itching, swelling, redness, and bleeding.
   
The reality, is that these symptoms are actually caused by a metal allergy.  Metal allergies (aka contact dermatitis) are contact allergies, meaning a reaction only occurs when your body is in contact with the substance (like when you are wearing earrings). The symptoms of metal allergy include reddening of the skin, swelling, blistering, rash, pain.
   
Metal allergies do not occur immediately. They develop over time after extended contact with a reactive substance.  For that reason, many people can wear earrings for years before they develop an allergy and start to get painful reactions. 
   
So when you say you have sensitive ears, what you are really saying is that you have a metal allergy and your ears cannot tolerate the reactive metals in most earrings.  Metal allergies are not just limited to your ear. If you get a painful reaction wearing earrings that are not made with a non reactive metal, it's more than likely you'll have the same experience wearing necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc.

What metal is best for sensitive ears?

 
Like any allergy, the only way to avoid these reactions is to avoid the offending substances all together. But what if you still want to wear earrings? Not to worry, all hope is not lost. The key is to wear earrings  (and jewelry) that do not contain any reactive metals.
    
Titanium is one of the only metals that does not react with the human body. 
Look for earrings that are made with pure titanium (like these) and do not have any other metals that come in contact with your ear. Even a non-titanium back or a sliver of another metal can cause a painful reaction if it is in constant contact with your skin.
You should also be careful to verify that the earrings are actually pure titanium and not a titanium alloy. Looking for nickel free earrings that are non allergenic and don't sacrifice style for the sake of comfort, can be difficult. Luckily, Tini Lux is here to solve that problem. 

What earrings are good for sensitive ears?

The best quality earrings for sensitive ears are those that are made with pure titanium or niobium. If you are a first time piercer, it's important that you find earrings that can be used as both starter, healing and sleeping studs. Below are some of our most popular nickel free hypoallergenic earrings. 

 

Titanium Stud Earrings 

 

Cartilage Earrings for Sensitive Ears
 
Titanium Hoop Earrings
 
   
If you have any questions about sensitive ears, metal allergies, or the best earrings for sensitive ears, please reach out at info@tinilux.com

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