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Pierced Ears with Sensitive Skin ... What are Your Solutions?  RSS feed

 
garden master
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I had been wearing the same pair of earrings for about 10 years.  I took them out because I was afraid they were old and would break.

I have lots of earrings that I cannot wear do to the fact that they make my ears itch and swell.    I am afraid to buy more earrings even though they say they are 14k gold.  I have even bought some of these "gold" earring that I could not wear.

Has anyone found a solution?
 
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Anne Miller wrote:I had been wearing the same pair of earrings for about 10 years.  I took them out because I was afraid they were old and would break.

I have lots of earrings that I cannot wear do to the fact that they make my ears itch and swell.    I am afraid to buy more earrings even though they say they are 14k gold.  I have even bought some of these "gold" earring that I could not wear.

Has anyone found a solution?



Can you wear silver?  I wear small cheap silver hoops constantly until they wear out after many years and then I buy another pair of cheap ones...less than ten dollars cheap. They have the fastening method where the skinny wire fits into the 'tube' of the hoop.  I've lost a couple recently when I take off a t-shirt over my head and the hoop goes flying, so right now I have one from two dif. pairs in and they are slightly different sizes. 

I've never worn gold...I notice that silver stays shiny in my ear but put away tarnishes.  I think some are allergic to silver as you seem to be to gold?
 
Anne Miller
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As far as I know silver is the only kind I have not tried.

Gold is ok if I could trust what the wire is made out of.

I've tried the ones that say "Hypoallergenic" without luck.

I have never had problems with necklaces or rings, just earrings.

 
steward
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I have worn a pair of pretty much pure gold wire loops for almost 30 years now.  Everything else leads to redness and oozing.

I was lucky to be dating a grad student in art, and he had a friend make these loops for me.  I suppose they are worth quite a bit more these days. . .
 
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I had to have my ears pierced 3 times (same hole) because all of the earrings we tried made my ears itchy, swollen and runny. It was a mess. In high school, my mom pierced my ears the old fashioned way, with a needle with several strands of thread and a potato. Yep, that was fun. I wore thread "earrings" for more than a year, just to make sure that they wouldn't close. Once the hole stayed open, I became expert in changing the thread (about once a week) and soaking my ears and thread earrings in alcohol every day.

But the problem remained. Any earrings with metal, and my ears became a mess in 2 hours. It wasn't until I married that I stumbled upon a solution. Plastic french hooks. We had a make-cheap-jewelry store in our town, and they stocked both plastic french hooks and the backs of earrings. My husband got to be very good at retrofitting any earrings that I liked so I could wear them. Eventually, the jewelry store closed, but I still have a bunch of french hooks. I don't know where I can buy them now, but if necessary, I suppose the wide world of the web will help me to find some more.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks everyone!

I had an old ear wire used for dangling earrings that I put in one ear.  It is working great.  The other ear has been red and oozing for several day.

I spent much of yesterday searching for remedies and sources for earrings.

Ronnie, my ears were pierced much like your ... a big needle and a bar of soap.  Thanks for the tip about the thread that is a new one though I had thought of it.

Your French hook earring are what I call "Fishhook".  They are readily available on ebay and amazon.  I can get a pack of 10/20 from China for very little money for Sterling silver.  I can get the exact same earring from a USA seller for 5 times as much for one.

I also found that I can get Rhodium flashed earrings and silicone ones but they are pricey.  I also saw some made out of copper and some made out of brass.

For remedies, I found folks using clear nail polish, antibiotic cream or coconut oil.  They coat the post.

I am going to look through my orphan earrings when the red ear is healed. Maybe I will go back to my old gold ones.
 
Anne Miller
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Here are some highlights from a good article I found; it also describes the different metals to look for:

https://www.ebay.com/gds/How-to-Buy-the-Right-Jewelry-When-You-Have-a-Metal-Allergy

Piercings are often triggers that cause allergies due to the metal particles being exposed to open wounds. Metal allergies do not go away, and repeated exposure can worsen the condition.

Nickel is the primary metal that people are allergic to. Jewelry pieces containing this metal are high irritants because nickel dissolves in water and forms salts. Through sweating or washing, the salts get into the skin and cause itchy, painful reactions. Perfumes, soaps, and lotions on the skin can have the same results if there is enough moisture. Copper and cobalt are also responsible for causing allergic reactions in some individuals.

Some people think that they are allergic to gold and silver, but these metals only cause reactions in extremely rare circumstances. The more likely culprits in these situations are the alloys that are combined with the gold or silver to make the material harder and less expensive. Low-karat gold and silver are often mixed with nickel and copper, which are the sources for many allergic reactions. Copper is also used to make brass jewelry, which some people believe they are allergic to.

Expert jewelers recommend surgical-grade stainless steel for the earring wires, posts, and findings. When shopping for earrings, look for the words "surgical" or "nickel-free" because regular steel contains nickel alloys that can cause skin reactions.

Niobium or surgical steel earring hooks are ideal for allergy sufferers.

Experiment with different hypoallergenic metals to find styles that meet individual preferences.
 
Ronnie Ugulano
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I found folks using clear nail polish, antibiotic cream or coconut oil.  They coat the post. . .surgical-grade stainless steel for the earring wires, posts, and findings.

I tried all of these. None of them worked. Thus the plastic.
 
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