How to find earrings for sensitive ears

Written by ann jones
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How to find earrings for sensitive ears
Surgical-stainless-steel body jewellery can prevent an allergic reaction. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

If you have pierced ears and sensitive skin, you may have a hard time finding jewellery that doesn't irritate your ear lobes. If you find that your ears become red, irritated and itchy when wearing inexpensive or costume jewellery, you may have a sensitivity to nickel. Fortunately, as body piercings grow in popularity and acceptability, it's become easier than ever to find hypoallergenic jewellery with a low risk of skin irritation.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Visit a tattoo and piercing shop in your area and ask to see the selection of surgical-stainless-steel jewellery. Stainless steel is the default metal for body piercing because of its low risk of irritation. Try captive bead rings or circular barbells for a fresh new look.

  2. 2

    Ask the piercer at the tattoo shop if she has any titanium or niobium jewellery in stock. Piercers often keep a few titanium and niobium pieces available for the very rare client with a sensitivity to stainless steel. Titanium is often anodised into bright colours such as pink, blue and yellow; niobium is available in black.

  3. 3

    Buy gold jewellery from high-end jewellery stores rather than mall piercing shops. Not only is the jewellery usually made better, it's of a higher carat value than the gold-plated mall offerings. Look for earrings that are at least 18-karat yellow or white gold. Platinum, while quite expensive, is another hypoallergenic metal available at nicer jewellery stores.

  4. 4

    Search online auction sites for deals on platinum, gold, steel, titanium and niobium jewellery. Buy only jewellery that's never been worn. If it hasn't been sterilised in an autoclave, visit a piercing shop and ask them to do it for you; most shops are happy to do so for a small fee.

  5. 5

    Support independent metal artists by having your jewellery custom-made. The Internet has made it easier than ever to connect with artisans whose work is exactly your style.

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