The Business of Handmade

Do You Have Jewelry Allergies?

Its a mixed blessing that I have a bit of a jewelry allergy (I can’t wear pierced earrings for any length of time).  On the one hand, I’d love to keep many of the earrings I make so I could wear them.   But – if I wore them, I couldn’t sell them, and then where would I be?  I would be one lots-of-earrings-having, no-money-having gal.

The Online Jeweler Magazine has a nice article on jewelry allergies, focusing on the main culprit – nickel.  Nickel is a frequent cause of “contact dermititis,” or, as I call it, “oh god my skin is itching and turning red what is happening to me did something bite me no I don’t think so”:

One out of every seven people is likely to suffer from a nickel allergy… Nickel sulfate hexahydrate is a metal frequently encountered in jewelry and clasps or buttons on clothing and is the #1 cause of contact dermatitis.

Two factors make self-diagnosis a challenge. First, contact dermatitis may appear several days after contact. Second, a nickel allergy can appear at any point in one’s life. One can react suddenly and adversely to a piece of jewelry long-owned and frequently used. If the allergy is due to nickel, it is likely to become a life-long nuisance once it has developed.

Nickel, you rascal.  You’ve been causing me rashes yet saving me money for years.

Turns out that pure copper is a good alternative for people with nickel allergy.  I just purchased some copper materials and plan to introduce a line of “bronzed” copper gemstone necklaces, earrings and bracelets for winter (stay tuned).

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One thought on “Do You Have Jewelry Allergies?

  1. I know a lot of people who suffer from jewelry allergies. You have to be very careful before buying jewelry if you do not want to risk that your new bought jewelry will not be able to be used. I found that my wife and my daughter had no allergies when wearing pure copper jewelry so that might be a good alternative indeed.

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