• September 27, 2016
September 27, 2016, 9:58:48 pm *
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News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
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Author Topic: Allergic to metal jewelry, I love metal jewelry  (Read 9420 times)
zuzu_
Frakking
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« on: February 10, 2016, 2:48:24 pm »

So in my 20s, I developed an allergy to most jewelry that isn't 14kt gold. Pretty much just get hives wherever the metal touches my skin.  Some pieces marked "nickel safe" seem to work; others don't. When I get a gift of unknown jewelry, I give it trial run, and I just donate if it gives me hives, which it usually (but not always) does. There have been times when I've bought a 14kt gold chain necklace only to get a hive where clasp sits in my neck. I'm assuming this must be a nickel allergy.

So for the most part, I've worked around this by only wearing gold, and then using scarves and other non-metal accessories. My brother-in-law once bought be bracelets made out of melted vinyl records. I also have wood, plastic, and glass items. I LOVE jewelry.

The one thing that pains me is that I have this lovely vintage jewelry from my grandmother. It's costume jewelry, but it really cool 40s stuff that I love. It gives me hives within 30 minutes (earrings and necklaces).

Also, recently I started getting an allergic reaction whenever I put an earring in my ear hole. This includes gold earrings that I've worn for years. I have double holes on both sides, and 3 out of 4 holes seem fine, but one swells up and gets itchy. I gave it a break for a month, but same thing happened when I finally tried the 14kt gold earrings again. WTF?

So, to sum up, anyone else allergic to nickel and love jewelry? What workarounds have you discovered?
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anonymath
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 3:07:15 pm »

I'm not allergic to metal jewelry, but one of my friends who seems to have a similar reaction gets around it by coating the metal parts in multiple coats of clear nail polish. You can still see the jewelry, but the metal never touches her skin. I don't know if/how often she recoats it.

Good luck!
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As for the rest of your analysis, Anonymath, I agree.
zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 4:58:17 pm »

I'm not allergic to metal jewelry, but one of my friends who seems to have a similar reaction gets around it by coating the metal parts in multiple coats of clear nail polish. You can still see the jewelry, but the metal never touches her skin. I don't know if/how often she recoats it.

Good luck!

It seems like that would work on like a watch back or on the back of a pendant, but probably not on a chain or an earring post/hook.
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alto_stratus
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 5:10:52 pm »

I had the same experience with earrings where I was fine with most earrings, then only with 14kt+ or silver, and then all of a sudden, everything made my ears red and itchy.  I didn't want to spend more money trying to figure it out, so I just stopped wearing them.  I turned one pair of sentimental value into clips, and they cause me less discomfort, but I can still only wear them for a few hours.

I have heard of people painting nail polish on earring posts with some success.  I'm not a fan of nail polish, so I didn't try it.  They also sell plastic pieces to cover earring posts (pierced ear protectors).  I didn't love earrings enough to try those (figuring it might be wasted money, and might stretch the ear holes).

As for costume jewelry necklaces, turtleneck tops would be my solution.
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libwitch
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 3:46:13 pm »

If you have developed an allergy, 14k won't often be helpful - there is still a filler metal in there.

Which means that you are often left with:
  • 24K
  • surgical stainless steel
  • titanium
For earrings,  it can often be easy to find a decent selection - you just look for things that are sold for piercing.     

Many nicer  jewelry stores can replace existing clasps of necklaces and the like that are made out of the cheaper metals with ones that are steel  (or coated in 24K gold or steel).

The trick of coating things with clear metal polish can often make pieces wearable for short periods of time, but you have to reapply it frequently.  And it can easily discolor pieces, so I also test first. [/list]
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pendragon
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 3:20:14 pm »

My solution was to replace hooks and posts with hypoallergenic ones. http://www.simplywhispers.com/ is the site I used to use. Glasses and sunglasses can also be difficult, but at least one can find plastic frames.
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zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 3:25:27 pm »

My solution was to replace hooks and posts with hypoallergenic ones. http://www.simplywhispers.com/ is the site I used to use. Glasses and sunglasses can also be difficult, but at least one can find plastic frames.

Thank you for that website. I hadn't been successful with Googling.
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mystictechgal
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One step at a time


« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 6:02:20 pm »

If using nail polish doesn't work, jewelers can switch the posts on earrings for something hypoallergenic, and they may also be able to add a backing to the earring, itself. The backing may not work if the earring is open-work filigree (because you'd be able to see it), but it should work for a solid piece.
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cyano
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 11:39:13 pm »

I seem to be very allergic to everything with even a trace of nickel, but I've had no problem with titanium. I've picked up a number of pieces I like on Etsy. I've also been able to swap out some earring posts for titanium posts. The nail polish trick has worked briefly for me, but has resulted in misery when the nail polish wore off.
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cyano
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 11:40:16 pm »

Also, some surgical steel has significant amounts of nickel. Not good.
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zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2016, 8:16:25 pm »

My solution was to replace hooks and posts with hypoallergenic ones. http://www.simplywhispers.com/ is the site I used to use. Glasses and sunglasses can also be difficult, but at least one can find plastic frames.

Thank you for that website. I hadn't been successful with Googling.

For my birthday, my mother bought me an assortment of metal chains from that website . I've been wearing them for months with no problems at all. And they weren't very expensive at all. Thanks again for the recommendation.
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lucy_
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 10:14:36 pm »

When I got my ears pierced, they got really bad til I started wearing only surgical steel. Now they seem fine, wonder if all my earrings are now surgical steel, or maybe I outgrew the problem, though I have lots of allergies and sensitivities.

For the necklaces, could you wear them in the winter over a turtleneck. If they aren't long enough, I have some necklace extenders. I live wearing necklaces over my ribbed turtle necks.

I'm also loving my paper bracelets and paper necklaces. I didn't realize how much I'd fall in love with them, but they are so light-weight and thus comfortable.

could you turn the vintage earrings into pins?
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