What is a jewelry allergy?

A jewelry allergy is a reaction that occurs when wearing jewelry containing certain metals, most commonly nickel.  The reaction can occur after moments or hours, and includes redness, itching, blisters, and even bleeding at the exposure site.  Allergies can occur due to repeated exposure to the allergen (the metal causing the reaction).  Metal allergies most often develop earlier in life, but it is possible for them to occur at any time.  Therefore, it is important even in people with no metal allergies to carefully select their jewelry from reputable brands.

Hypoallergenic jewelry is created without the most common metal allergens: nickel, copper, and brass.  Metal allergies are as unique as the people who experience them, and thus some jewelry that is safe for one person may cause discomfort in another.  Hypoallergenic jewelry is less likely to cause a reaction, but those with sensitivities to less common allergens may need to experiment to find the best brands and materials for their skin.

Jewelry that is causing an allergic reaction should be removed immediately and not worn again.  For medical advice concerning a jewelry allergy, consult a physician.

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