There are people who are allergic to gold. Are you one of them? Let’s see what may cause this allergy, what are the symptoms and what can be done about it.
What Is Gold Allergy?
It may sound ironic but some people experience allergic reactions when wearing gold jewellery.
Usually, the symptoms are red and itchy skin when in contact with the jewellery. In most cases, if you take off the gold piece and wash the skin with water and soap the problem disappears.
In general, allergies to gold are very rare. But an allergy to the nickel that contains gold alloy is quite common.
What Is Allergy to Nickel?
We already know that pure gold is too soft to be used for jewellery casting. That’s why it’s often mixed with nickel and other metals to make it harder and suitable for production.
In general, the lower the purity of gold alloy, the bigger part of it is made up of other metals. As a result, low karat gold jewellery is more likely to cause allergic reactions.
However, there is no set rule to tell if a certain piece of jewellery will give you allergic reactions since different pieces are made of different alloys and varying concentrations of nickel. For example, it’s possible to have two rings of the same karat and only one of them to cause allergy.
What to Do If You Are Allergic to Nickel
In case you have an allergy to nickel, you may switch to gold jewellery that is of a higher karat grade. Most people with such an allergy can’t wear 10K gold, which is why you need to try higher karats until you find a suitable type for you.
As a rule, you should avoid gold plated jewellery. These pieces are covered with a layer of gold that will eventually wear out and the base layer often contains nickel.
Don’t wear white gold. This type of gold is made from yellow gold with a mix of other metals including nickel to make it look whiter. Of course, white gold is plated with rhodium, but once this layer wears down, nickel beneath will come into contact with your skin. In case you are still determined to buy white gold jewellery, make sure it is nickel-free.
Hypoallergenic Jewellery: The Best Solution
If you are allergic to nickel the best solution for you is to buy jewellery made of hypoallergenic metals that do not contain nickel.
For example, platinum usually doesn’t cause allergies unless it is mixed with nickel in rare cases.
In case platinum is too expensive for you, you can try sterling silver or stainless steel.
It is worth mentioning, there is also hypoallergenic gold jewellery that is nickel-free.
Another good alternative is light and durable titanium.
Always remember to ask the jeweller if they use an alloy containing nickel when you have your ring resized or repaired since even a small piece of nickel may cause irritation.