14 karat white gold and skin allergies

Many people have reported to me that they experience discomfort when wearing 14 karat white gold diamond earring settings. If you have sensitivity or are allergic to your jewelry, you may notice a variety of symptoms. Skin might get itchy, dry and irritated and appear red, flaky or scaly. Worse, you might even develop a rash, blisters or sores. Reactions like these are called allergic contact dermatitis.

In less severe cases, your skin might become mildly irritated or slightly discolored from the jewelry. It’s not uncommon for skin to turn blue, green or black, though skin discoloration isn’t an allergic reaction.

The alloys used in fashioning “karat” gold diamond earrings are often times the cause of this “reaction.” Many metallurgists have advised me that it is the Nickle in the 14 karat white gold that causes the wearer so many skin problems. I suggest trying either 18 karat yellow gold (which has fewer alloy components than 14 karat), or simply switch to 14 karat yellow gold. If you really like the look of white gold, ask your diamond stud earring specialist to rhodium plate the yellow gold around the prongs or tips of the setting. This way, the diamond looks nice and white, while your skin stays irritation free.

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