Can Gold Necklace Irritate Skin?

Can Gold Necklace Irritate Skin?

woman scratching hand

We have all heard that gold is the purest, most versatile metal out there and you simply can’t go wrong with it. Gold jewelry can be passed on to generations without losing its color, shine, and timelessness. But many people report allergic reactions to gold necklaces and jewelry in general, and they are mostly confused about why they are having it. Well, gold is metal just like any other and it is possible to be allergic to your favorite gold necklace. Gold is no doubt, one of the best jewelry-making metals out there. So why are you having an allergic reaction to it?

In this article, we will explore why you must be having an allergic reaction to your gold necklace, whether it is normal, and what are the possible solutions. So, read this article till the end and find answers!

Why is your gold necklace irritating your skin? 

The reason you are having an allergic reaction to your gold necklace is not hidden in the gold itself, but in other metals that are alloyed in your gold jewelry such as nickel.

Gold itself can’t cause allergies and it is nickel alloyed with gold that develops rashes and redness on the skin. It is not uncommon to have a nickel allergy and most people, especially women can have it. So, if you heard that gold is the purest metal, then why it is alloyed with nickel to carve jewelry? That answer is simple. Gold is way too soft in its purest form, and it is not possible to craft it into a necklace or a ring without adding at least a little quantity of some other metal. So, nickel is often alloyed with gold to harden and strengthen it. The presence of nickel in your gold necklace is probably the reason why you are developing rashes and redness.

Please remember that low purity gold, such as 10k gold can have more quantities of nickel than 18k gold. So, if your necklace is made up of cheap gold, it is another reason why it may be irritating your skin. Higher karat gold, at the same time, contains a very negligible amount of nickel that often doesn’t harm or irritate your skin. If you have a nickel allergy, the first piece of advice we will give you is to stop wearing high fashion costume jewelry pieces because they often contain higher traces of nickel.

Common symptoms of a gold allergy

necklace close up on neck

Gold allergy can pose similar symptoms as any other type of allergy. Your skin reacts differently to different kinds of allergens. We have listed down some common symptoms related to a gold allergy:

  • Dark spots
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Rashes
  • Peeling
  • Blistering

Gold allergy can make your skin sensitive and uncomfortable, but the symptoms shouldn’t be too severe. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. You can also develop these symptoms either after wearing gold jewelry for a short period or after long-term use.

What are the possible solutions?

1. Purchase higher karat gold

The first thing you can do if you have a gold allergy is to avoid using cheap quality gold and invest in high karat gold necklaces that contain only traces of nickel and other harmful metals. Higher karat gold often contains only a negligible amount of nickel which makes it more suitable for sensitive and allergy-prone skin.

People with a nickel allergy should also avoid buying gold-plated articles because they are crafted by coating an alloy metal with a gold layer. The alloy metal or base metal is usually stainless steel that contains nickel and other harmful metals that can trigger allergic reactions.

White gold jewelry is also considered unsuitable for people with sensitive skin. White gold is made from yellow gold that is alloyed with higher quantities of metals like nickel. So, avoid buying white gold jewelry if you are allergic to nickel.

2. Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Another good way to avoid allergic reactions to gold is to invest in good-quality hypoallergenic necklaces. These necklaces are specially designed for people with sensitive skin and contain only trace amounts of nickel.

Hypoallergenic jewelry is usually crafted from surgical stainless steel, platinum, and nickel-free sterling silver. This type of jewelry provides you with an amazing, safe, and affordable alternative to gold.

Another alternative is titanium jewelry because titanium is also a hypoallergenic metal that makes sterling jewelry pieces. Titanium necklaces will work for you if you are looking for something super low-maintenance and ultra-lightweight.

Final words

If you are observing a rash or experiencing itchiness after wearing your gold necklace, you may have a gold allergy. But this shouldn’t stop you from wearing gold altogether. Invest in high-karat gold necklaces that contain negligible amounts of nickel. If gold isn’t an option for you, opt for hypoallergenic metals like titanium, platinum, and medical-grade stainless steel.

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