Generally speaking, women love earrings. Dangles, hoops, posts, chandeliers... earrings come in every shape, size and design, to the delight of anyone who seeks self-expression. However, what about the women who have sensitive ears? What are their options? The truth is, most earrings are off limits to many women because they experience an allergic reaction, a bad experience that can include itching, bleeding, or even infection. The resulting limited choice in earrings for sensitive ears can take all the fun out of dressing for the day.
In most cases, the problem is an allergy to certain metals, usually nickel. This metal is commonly used in jewelry, so it can create havoc for sensitive ears. Of course, if money is not an issue, earrings made of silver, gold, or platinum can be purchased. However, most metals used in jewelry, even 14K gold and sterling silver, are alloys. This means they contain small amounts of other metals, including nickel. After years of wear, these alloys can break down due to body moisture exposing the sensitive ear to allergens. Two more options are titanium and niobium, which can sometimes be found in pure form and are then totally hypoallergenic.
Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid some of these problems, or at least to delay them. The easiest solution is to look for packaging that reads "nickel free" or "earrings for sensitive ears," but women who do not wish to be limited to expensive or specially made earrings can either replace or cover the earring post or clasp to protect their ears from the nickel.
For example, one way to fix problematic earrings is to replace the hooks, clasps or posts, also known as findings, with nickel-free alternatives purchased from jewelry supply stores. This can be a little difficult with clasp and post earrings, though, since the old clasp or post must be snapped off and the new one glued on. Another way to resolve the allergy problem is to cover the findings in some way, to create a protective barrier between the finding and the ear. Some women use clear nail polish or nail strengthener, but this wears away after a while. Some wearers even use paraffin wax, but it wears away even quicker.
For some, the best solution is to buy earring post covers. Available in plastic or polyethylene, these little sleeves slip over the earring's post and protects the ear from the metal allergens. These covers are popular with ear-sensitive women because they are widely available and affordable, and they resolve the problem indefinitely. They do have a few drawbacks, however. For one, they make the earring posts larger, which makes the earrings a bit more difficult to insert. Also, they are made only for earrings with posts. Earrings with different findings cannot be altered.
These are probably not the only solutions. In fact, a quick trip online will result in a lot of fixes, but those with sensitive ears should be skeptical. For example, some special purifiers, steamers, and chemical solutions are available to treat earrings and block allergens, but the effectiveness of these procedures is questionable. With common sense and a little experimentation, though, women with sensitive ears can enjoy wearing their favorite earrings with no pain or annoyance.
For more information and products for earrings for sensitive ears, please visit http://www.sensitively-yours.com
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