Question To An Expert: What To Do If Earrings Irritate Your Ears

Health 2023

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Question To An Expert: What To Do If Earrings Irritate Your Ears
Question To An Expert: What To Do If Earrings Irritate Your Ears
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Video: Sensitive Ears? Wear whatever earrings you want with this easy trick!!! 2023, February

Olga Lukinskaya

ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS ARE EXCITING TO US we used to search online. In the new series of materials, we ask just such questions - burning, unexpected or common - to professionals in various fields.


Many of us have pierced ears for more than a dozen years, and sometimes with age there is intolerance to jewelry, the ears itch, irritate, swell. Some say that they can only wear gold, while for others it causes irritation. Why do earrings that have been tolerated in the past cause the ears to become inflamed? Why isn't even gold always well tolerated? Can annoying earrings be worn for one evening? What if the puncture does not heal or is stretched out? We asked these questions to an expert.

Margot Kramer

expert-consultant of the medical department of RuAPP, senior master of the StScalpelburg studio in Moscow


According to my observations, earlobes are the most resistant to different types of earrings. They can calmly react to the frequent change of shapes and materials of jewelry. They can withstand the installation of studs with a very long thread, onto which the fastener is screwed, and half of this thread is inside the channel and can potentially injure the puncture. They can endure heavy jewelry for a long time and only then begin to stretch slowly. Therefore, it happens that a person wears earrings for many years without thinking about their material or shape. But still, problems often arise.

The reasons can be completely different. The first is wearing nickel-containing jewelry. These can be earrings made of jewelry alloys, surgical steel, silver and very often white gold. Nickel is a fairly strong allergen, but the reaction to it is not instantaneous, but cumulative: the longer the jewelry is in contact with the body or is inside the body (in the puncture channel), the more likely the reaction is. Nickel sensitivity can also show up with watches, buttons, or belt buckles. Most often, the reaction looks like contact dermatitis - that is, it develops in the place where the contact occurs.

Design can also be a source of irritation: not every manufacturer makes atraumatic jewelry. There should be no sharp edges that can catch on something. The jewelry should fit in size, fit as tightly as possible to the skin and protrude above it as little as possible. Ideally, the metal should be polished to a mirror finish, and the clasp should not injure the skin.

The second important reason is endogenous problems, that is, diseases or changes in normal processes in the body. For example, during pregnancy, the condition of the skin may change, and hence its reactivity to external factors, so jewelry that was previously normally tolerated may begin to irritate. Finally, it is very important not to neglect hygiene - punctures should be taken care of in the same way as everything else; Earlobe punctures can carry pathogens from hands or hair, as well as particles of sunscreen or styling products, and it is important to rinse them off regularly.

As for gold, it is important to understand that jewelry made from it can be very different in composition. Gold itself is an inert metal, but in 585 samples it is 58.5%, in 750 - 75%, and everything else is impurities. They are often harmful and allergic. For example, there is always a high percentage of copper in rose gold, which can irritate even a healed puncture. Not to mention a fresh wound, in which there is a high risk of metal ions penetrating into the cell - when wearing silver, this becomes noticeable externally, when the skin is blacker (this is called argyria). And, of course, the mass-market jewelry does not think about the shape of the jewelry: the test for gold earrings is often set so that it goes through a puncture, injuring it.

Not every manufacturer makes atraumatic jewelry. Mass market

does not think about the shape of the earrings: the test for gold accessories is often set so that it goes through a puncture

At the same time, there are also gold alloys of implantation quality, which are free of nickel, which are perfectly suitable for piercing. When buying, you need to look at the composition. Good brands never hide it from the consumer. If there really are no (or at least) allergens in it, we can say that the brand cares about the health of its customers.

If the ears are inflamed, it is important to determine the cause, and for this it is best to come for an examination to a competent professional. Jewelry, which may contain nickel, must be replaced with inert, titanium alloy grades ASTM F 136 or ASTM 1295 or nickel-free platinum and gold alloys. If the form of jewelry is not suitable, you need to replace it with a master for an atraumatic one. If the reason is lack of hygiene, then the best solution would be to make an appointment with a master to clean the canals and temporarily replace jewelry or gold jewelry with titanium until the inflammation subsides.

If the reason is endogenous, then the joint work of a doctor and a master is needed. Unfortunately, doctors usually know very little about the specifics of piercings, sometimes they generally think that we are working somewhere in basements, in unsanitary conditions, and their decisions boil down to removing the jewelry from the puncture, which is often impossible (if you want to save piercing). But when the doctor and the piercer work in tandem, the master can recommend specific solutions, and the doctor can choose the methods and prescribe the treatment.

As for jewelry "for one evening", you can wear heavy earrings made of good metal or jewelry of complex shape for a short time without harm. But for those who know that they have developed a sensitivity to nickel, it is better not to take risks with jewelry containing it, even occasionally. It's like deliberately eating nuts or seafood, knowing that you are allergic to them.

If the puncture is relatively fresh and will not heal in any way, it is best to remove the jewelry, let the wound heal and then re-pierce. Even if the ears were pierced a year ago, but the canal is inflamed, it will successfully close. If the puncture is old, then the canal is covered with epithelium inside and does not heal completely, but it can narrow. Sometimes I am asked to pierce the lobes that are overgrown, but it turns out that the channels are simply pulled together. In such cases, the piercer can carefully expand them with a special tool. Finally, in case of asymmetry of punctures or stretching from heavy jewelry, different tactics are possible: sometimes it is enough just to make a new puncture away from the original one, sometimes plastic of the earlobes is needed, that is, suturing of old punctures.

Photos: Oleg -, Kostiantyn -

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