When talking about jewellery and skin allergies there are several reasons that could be the cause and it is a more common occurrence that you would think.
Firstly it may be the alloys in the metal, for example, in 18 carat white gold there is 75 percent fine gold and can then be alloyed with copper, silver, zinc, nickel or palladium. At Nordhoff Jewellery Couture we are pleased to be nickel free as it is know to cause skin irritations.
It maybe the case that it’s not even the actual particular metal causing the allergy, some ladies have never previously had an issue with skin irritations, until they fall pregnant or whilst breast feeding, sometimes different hormones can give them extra sensitive skin. The effects of sensitive skin often diminish after stopping breast-feeding, and in some instances it can take a while for the hormones to leave the body completely so the skin problems can be alleviated.

The most common cause without doubt would be washing of the hands while wearing rings, the water remains underneath the rings and cannot evaporate, the damp skin then becomes irritated. This can be the same situation if using hand sanitisers. Sometimes the chemicals in the sanitisers become trapped under the rings and remain on the skins surface, causing an irritation.
Some simple solutions to try;

  1. Take the rings off every night when going to bed, and rub some sorbolene cream into the fingers. The sorbolene helps to calm any irritated skin, and removing the rings allows the skin to repair.
  2. Remove rings when washing hands and make sure hands are completely dried before putting rings back on.
  3. Have your jewellery regularly and professionally cleaned. At Nordhoff Jewellery Couture we can inspect and re-rhodium plate your white gold, which can sometimes be a low cost solution to an irritating problem.
  4. Re-make your jewellery using a hypoallergenic precious metal.
  5. When talking about hypoallergenic precious metals we mean Platinum and Palladium.

Without a doubt Platinum would be the “king of all metals” it is a beautiful white metal that never needs rhodium plating. Platinum is only found in small quantities and regions around the globe. They say it takes 10 tonnes of ore to produce just one ounce of Platinum and this is why it is considered the “rich mans gold”.  It is a very dense metal, therefore it’s extremely long wearing and compared to an 18 carat gold ring of the same size it is substantially heavier.
Unlike gold, platinum is used in a very pure form (about 95 percent) and that purity is why it is so kind to the skin.
From the same family of metals as Platinum is the white metal Palladium, this is a hypoallergenic precious metal also used in a very pure form. Palladium is lighter in density than platinum. Its durable, never requires rhodium plating and is an affordable precious metal that is kind to the skin. It’s considered a relative new comer to use in jewellery items, but has been used since World War II when Platinum was declared a strategic government resource and jewellers turned to Palladium for many wedding bands.
When faced with a jewellery related skin allergy, Nordhoff Jewellery Couture can help you work through the best course of action to take. Whether it be a simple clean, polish and rhodium plate to an existing piece of jewellery or a complete re-make using a hypoallergenic precious metal we would be happy to assist you.