Why Do Earrings Labeled "Nickel Free" Still Bother My Ears?

by Shopify API


Has this ever happened to you?

You purchase "nickel free earrings" and within minutes of wearing them your ears have become irritated, swollen, and red. At some point you probably stopped trusting that label altogether because of past experiences. Unfortunately, "nickel free earrings" just aren't good enough.

First of all, why do some people's ears react to earrings and what is it about the earrings that causes the reaction?

 The reason some people react is because they have developed an allergy to the metals used in some earrings. Earring allergies/metal allergies are contact allergies that have developed from being in contact with a reactive substance. Over time, your immune system develops a response to the reactive substance that it is in contact with. Once your body develops a response, even a few moments of contact can cause a severe reaction. For that reason, a person can go years without having an allergic reaction to their earrings while their body is building up a defense and then seemingly overnight they can get bad reactions to the same earrings.

What else do you need to know?

A lot of people seek out nickel free earrings because they have heard that nickel is a very reactive metal that people are commonly allergic to. However, it is not the only metal you should avoid. Fashion earrings made with alloys like surgical steel, stainless steel, brass, and even gold contain metals like iron, copper, molybdenum, and more that can be just as reactive with the human body as nickel. It's like being lactose intolerant and eating ice cream labeled "gluten free" and expecting it not to bother you -- the gluten is not the issue, the lactose is. 

There is so much misinformation, lack of information, and misleading marketing surrounding earring materials. The bottom line is, many metals (not just nickel) can cause you to develop a contact allergy because the vast majority of metals are very reactive with the human body. 

If "nickel free" isn't good enough, what is? 

Titanium and niobium are metals that (in their pure state) are 100% non-reactive with the human body. Titanium in particular is the metal of choice for medical implants because of its biocompatible properties. 

At Tini Lux, we only use pure titanium and pure niobium because they are metals that are biocompatible and strong enough for earrings. All of our earrings are nickel free, but more importantly, we do not use ANY reactive metals on portions of the earrings that touch your ear. Because metal allergies are contact allergies, we make sure that reactive metals do not come in contact with your skin.

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