Metals & Allergies

Fancy cut diamonds today have become a liking among jewelry wearers for making a fashion statement with subtlety. Fashion Jewelry across the globe offers its wearer the opportunity to add some personality to classic pieces, beginning from a tennis bracelet to an engagement or wedding band or a solitaire necklace by making each article their own.

Jewelry can be traced back to the older civilizations that bloomed in Iran around as far as 4000 to 3,000BC. Though these were simple stone amulets and seals, jewelry today has evolved entirely.

Jewelry and skin allergies can be related by exploring the common causes of skin irritation and how to choose jewelry that minimizes the risk of reaction. It's important to consider the materials used in jewelry, as certain metals and alloys can trigger allergies in some people. By understanding the factors that contribute to skin allergies and how to choose jewelry that is hypoallergenic, you can help reduce the risk of a reaction and enjoy wearing jewelry with confidence.

What are allergies?

When your immune system reacts to a food or substance that typically doesn't trigger a reaction in most people, such as pollen, bee venom, or pet dander, allergies can develop. In this stage, the B cell produces antibodies (specialized white blood cells).

Your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive tract may become inflamed as a result of your immune system's reaction when you come into touch with the allergen. Individual differences in allergy severity mean that it can range from a simple annoyance to a potentially fatal emergency called anaphylaxis. Although most allergies cannot be cured, there are therapies that can help you feel better.

Recently since jewelry has become so popular and vastly available to all, while having different skin types people get introduced to a number of allergies. Most jewelry allergy is caused by the metal; gold, platinum, copper, nickel, silver, and cobalt which is used in the manufacture of precious metal alloys.

The skin being the body's biggest organ, serves as a barrier to protect the interior organs from harm and germs and is also an excellent predictor of general bodily health.

A lot of people suffer symptoms of one or more dermatological conditions at some point in their lives. . In fact, skin issues are the reason for almost one in every six visits to a medical practitioner.

These conditions might affect the hair, skin, or nails including:

Acne, Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Cold sores and sometimes Skin Cancer.

Let’s talk about common jewelries used today along with the symptoms of allergies and possible treatments.


During the mid-1800s, gold was the leader in jewelry and ornaments. Complemented by richly hued fabrics like silks and velvets. Gold jewelry was set with diamonds, turquoise, rubies, sapphires, and other valuable stones. Jewelry was often further decorated with elaborate engravings, etchings, and ornamented using black enamel coatings.

While the earliest time period of jewelry that we have had at TQ Diamonds begins in the late 20th century, gold has been used in jewelry since as far back as 4000 B.C. in Eastern Europe and Iraq in 3000 B.C.

Gold carat weight could vary from 8carats to 24carats. The minimum carat weight for an item to be classified gold varies depending on its country of origin, in the US our minimum is 10carats. The addition of copper, silver, and other base metals is what allows for variation in color and carat weight. More gold equals richer more yellow tones in jewelry with a much softer malleable final product. Jewelry from India is known for having more concentrations of gold therefore having that soft richly yellow look and feel, usually results in a 24carat weight, while antique Russian jewelry is well-known for a mix 25% copper which is what creates the rose gold effect.

Gold has one of the highest atomic numbers of any substance in the universe marked at 79. Produced in a supernova from a collision of neutron stars soon after the big bang forming what is now our solar system and the rest of the universe. There is gold present in the Earth's core, but the gold that is found closer to the surface that we mine today most likely arrived to our planet via asteroid impact during the late heavy bombardment about 4 billion years ago.

It never ceases to amaze us how much history goes into a single ring. From the initial origins of the metals and gems which date back billions of years to the incredible history of the time period from which the piece came. To the fact that it was able to survive kings and wars and finally make its way to our store in Wisconsin is humbling.

When buying gold keep in mind that 24k gold is soft and with regular wear will result in slight scratches and bending or melding to the shape of your finger. For a more polished look go for 18k which will still give you that nice rich yellow hue while having enough strength to resist wear and tear.

Recently, a study conducted in 2015 concluded that in certain clinical circumstances, gold appears to be a cause of contact dermatitis. Furthermore, sensitization to gold should be considered as a possible cause of allergic contact dermatitis, a study in 1994 has said.

On the other hand, gold helps treat a variety of skin disorders, including acne and hyperpigmentation, because of its anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, metallic gold in contact with skin is slowly ionized, permitting absorption. Contact allergy to gold however is statistically correlated to the presence of dental gold. But in many case-reports it has also been attributed to wearing gold jewelry, albeit not statistically demonstrated.

Symptoms of Gold Allergies:

Patients with gold allergies frequently exhibit oral lichen planus, contact stomatitis, or contact dermatitis. The ears, eyelids or the region surrounding the eyes, fingers, and neck are the most typical sites for skin symptoms such as popular pruritic rash. Reactions are also possible in isolated locations apart from human touch. Women are more frequently affected by gold allergies as compared to men.

Tips to prevent Gold Allergy:

You may take off the jewelry before washing your hands. Then, before re-putting the jewelry on your skin, make sure it is entirely dry and free of moisture. Take into account applying the clean jewelry in case it’s a ring or a band to a dry, moist-free area that is unaffected by the preceding rash if any by a gold allergy.

Medical Treatment:

The use of local emollients and corticosteroids to decrease local allergic symptoms is part of the treatment for gold allergy.

18kt Gold

18kt gold is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% additional metals such as copper or silver, and others. 18k gold is less expensive than 24K and 22K gold and is ideal for manufacturing studded and diamond jewelry. This gold has a rich golden tone with a little dull shade, making it ideal for superb gold and diamond jewelry items.

18kt gold chain can cause many symptoms of allergy, including redness, itching, swelling, and greenish of the skin.

18kt engagement rings may develop itchy sensation and discoloration of the fingers skin (The skin might have red, green, and black colors) associated with discomfort feelings.

18kt gold chain also can develop the same reaction on the neck skin and it may develop blisters. In addition, 18kt gold watch also has the ability to develop a hypersensitivity reaction of the hand skin. This reaction will be associated with redness and itchy sensation.

Furthermore, gold sensitivity should be recognized as a potential cause of allergic contact dermatitis and allergic contact stomatitis in dental using, as well as a pathogenic or triggering factor in oral lichen planus.

14kt Gold

14kt gold is made up of 58.3 percent pure gold and 41.7 percent additional metals such as copper, zinc, silver, and nickel. With only 14 parts gold out of 24, it is typically less expensive than higher carat gold.

Because 14K gold contains more alloyed metals, it is more resistant to wear and tear. And because it is tougher and more robust, it is great for manufacturing everyday-wear jewelry, particularly for those who lead an active lifestyle. It also has a lower risk of causing skin allergies.

14kt solid yellow gold may develop tiny itching and tickling around the area of the neck, and in case of took it off, it will go away.

14K gold is not commonly seen, but it is conceivable. Why? Nickel is a metal component found in most gold jewelry alloys. It is utilized mostly because it is affordable, has a lightning effect, and is frequently used in pricey jewelry.

Allergic contact dermatitis develops when the skin around the earring, typically the earlobe and areas of the neck, reacts to the nickel and other metal components present.

Between 24 and 48 hours after exposure to the irritant, the skin becomes inflamed and a rash emerges. Depending on the intensity of your reaction, inflammation might range from minor irritation to open sores.

10kt Gold

Because nickel is one of the metal alloys in 10kt gold, many people are allergic to it. The nickel in gold causes gold allergy, which frequently presents as contact dermatitis. The larger the ratio of metal alloys in 10kt gold, the more allergic triggers.

10kt gold may also develop a hypersensitivity reaction that may lead to skin rash, itching and skin discoloration.


Being allergic to certain type of gold might be appear as discomfort thing. As we mentioned, the lower carat of gold you wear the higher percentage of allergy you may got.

How to diagnose gold allergy

A positive patch test to 0.5% w/w gold sodium thiosulfate (GSTS), consisting of a persistent popular reaction, is required to determine the existence of a contact allergy to gold.

Following the administration of the patch, the test reaction frequently lasts for months. Because many reactions using the patch test take longer than predicted to manifest, patch size must be assessed after 3 days, 1 week, and even 3 weeks.

However, all reactions to intracutaneous testing happen during the first week, and skin nodules frequently develop.

Medical Treatment:

Remove your jewelry and thoroughly wash the affected region with warm water to remove any leftover irritants. You can also use an over-the-counter cortisone lotion like hydrocortisone cream. If your symptoms do not improve within five to seven days, you should consult a doctor immediately.


Nickel allergies occur when the immune system perceives nickel ions as foreign body. Most of the time, your immune system's cells will only attack viruses, bacteria, and other potentially harmful items. Metal hypersensitivity occurs when the immune system rejects a metal compound and creates a variety of symptoms in response.

Nickel allergies are common after extended exposure and only in the area of the skin where the nickel came into contact.

The symptoms of Nickel Allergies:

Contact dermatitis symptoms will occur within 24 to 48 hours and can linger for 2 to 4 weeks.

Common symptoms are rashes, swelling, irritation, redness of skin or bluish-green discoloration if left untreated. In addition, nickel allergy may be proliferated to other parts of the body, leading to cause a nickel contact dermatitis.


Platinum is a naturally occurring white metal that is extracted from the soil. Unlike white gold, which is alloyed with other white metals to disguise its yellow tint, platinum jewelry is usually 90% or 95% pure. Platinum is incredibly durable therefore it does not require rhodium plating like white gold.

The most hypoallergenic and secure metal for jewelry is platinum. However, wearing this metal has been known to cause some wearers to develop rashes below the finger.

If you are allergic to platinum, the skin beneath the ring may seem red, itchy, dry, lumpy, and scorched. In extreme cases, your skin may break out in blisters.

Symptoms of Platinum Allergies:

While symptoms normally appear 12 to 48 hours after wearing your ring, you may develop an allergy unexpectedly years later in case you’re allergic. The symptoms, which can last two to four weeks, may appear in other places of your body as well. A platinum allergy can be confirmed with a patch test, which includes leaving a small patch with a little amount of the metal on your skin for two days to observe if symptoms emerge.

Medical Treatment:

Platinum allergy is rarely treatable. Once you've established an allergy, you'll have it for the rest of your life. Corticosteroid creams and oral antihistamines, both prescription and over-the-counter, can help lessen and relieve symptoms. Wet compresses and relaxing lotion, such as calamine lotion, may also help alleviate itching and dryness. If the rash on your finger lasts longer than four weeks or worsens, consult a dermatologist right away as this could indicate that the skin has become infected.


Titanium is a strong, lightweight, and biocompatible metal (non-toxic and not rejected by the body). Titanium is considered a wonderful alternative for those who have sensitive skin, particularly those who are allergic to nickel, silver, or gold. Even in those who are allergic to other metals, allergic responses to titanium are quite rare. Titanium may be anodized to produce a variety of colors. Anodizing produces a thin oxide layer that is biocompatible in the same way that polished titanium is.

Titanium Allergies:

Some researchers believe that titanium allergy does not exist and that patients are reacting to titanium impurities such as nickel, chromium, and cadmium. According to several researches, titanium alloys include traces of nickel (0.03%) as a result of the manufacturing process. This can cause health difficulties in nickel allergy individuals, and it also means that a reaction may be mistakenly attributed to titanium.

On the other hand, a study in 2007 demonstrates that titanium can cause clinically significant hypersensitivity in a subset of patients who have been continuously exposed via dental or Endo prosthetic implants.

Three Things to Do If You Have a Jewelry Allergy

  • Take off your jewelry. If you feel a piece of jewelry is triggering a reaction, take it off for a while.
  • Apply steroid cream. On aid healing, apply cortisone cream (or another anti-inflammatory steroid cream) to the rash.
  • Put on the jewelry again.

Wear the jewelry again after the rash has healed to see if it triggers another rash. If it does, it means you're allergic to a metal.


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