earring allergies?

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Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 3/26/2007 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I figured lupians are allergic to everything, so this might be a good site to ask questions about nickel allergies. I've worn earrings since I was 16 (that's how old I had to be before my father would let me pierce my ears). For the past couple of months, I've noticed that my ears get very painful, my earlobes swell, my ears itch (the outside of them) and it generally hurts to touch them. They also get very red, especially my right ear. Anymore these days, I end up taking my earrings out early in the day because my ear will start aching in the hole around the earring. A few days without earrings and my ears feel a lot better. Does this sound like a nickel allergy? I should qualify that these are inexpensive earrings; I don't currently own a pair with 14k gold posts (I keep losing good ones, so I only buy cheap ones). Don't know for sure if they have nickel in them, but I'd be willing to bet that they do.

Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

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Date Joined Dec 2004
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   Posted 3/26/2007 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   


   I have problems with all kinds of earrings, even gold. My ears do the same as yours. I can't keep them in long at all before my ears start hurting, swelling and itching bad. Mine started doing this about 5 or 6 years ago...I never had any problems before then. I really don't know what causes it.

   It will be interesting to see how many others have this problem too.


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Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 3/26/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Girlfriend you are playing my song! I can only wear sterling silver or at least 10k gold. Not only my earrings but if I have a pair of jeans on with a cheap snap my belly will break out. Once I had a blouse with metal buttons on it and every where there was a button I had a rash. When I was in the service I had my army ring. I thought my finger would rot off. Like you I don't have any nice earrings because I always loose them and they cost to much to loose. I have found out that I can put clear nail polish on my jewlry and it will help some. Oh yeah my sunglasses if they have metal frames No Way! I've actually thought about asking this same question before so I'm glad you brought it up.

God Bless
. Diagnosed Lupus Nov 06. xanax X3,triam high BP, percocet, inhalers,COPD. oxygen Plaquanil400mil, Pred. as needed. effexor.

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Date Joined Jan 2004
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   Posted 3/26/2007 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I can't wear anything but gold in my ears. I do like the silver look so I end up getting white gold and they are pricey (mine are small hoops that touch my ears completely so they have to be all gold) but I've been lucky to hold on to my current pair for a couple of years now *touch wood*.

The other ones that you can buy on the rack at your department stores make my ears itch, red and hurt too... I'm thinking that those are probably the nickel ones too.
Hugs, Des
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Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 3/26/2007 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I've never been able to wear any earrings that are not at least 10K, preferably 14K -- I do white gold for the silver look.

So I don't know if the lupus has changed my sensitivity 'cause I was always sensitive!

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
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Barbara Lee
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   Posted 3/26/2007 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Elcamino:

Good topic to see how many of us have troubles with jewerly. I can only wear gold posts in my ears. I'm lucky that my husband has purchased me two pairs of diamond earrings, they are the screw in type, I never take them out of my ears. Of course if I'm having a surgical procedure, MRI, or head CT they come out. Otherwise, other than my pearl earrings, I cannot wear any other type of earrings. My daughter, whose 14, has the same problems with nickel posts. Her fingers discolor with anything but pure gold. She doesn't have lupus, like me, but she does have a positive ANA of 1:640.

Maybe you could get a nice small pair of diamond screw in type and you wouldn't loose them that way. Good luck on findin earrings to wear. I hope you're feeling better, I'm pretty sure you did a post about being sick to your tummy. I can totally relate with you, I hope your stomach is beginning to feel better.

Take care,
dx fibro, SLE, glaucoma, cateracts, bells palsy, depression, migraine headaches, gastreopaersis, chronic anemia, MDS (Blood Cancer). Mediport and tons of meds.

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Date Joined Oct 2004
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   Posted 3/26/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my gosh!!!! I thought I was the only one like this. I've had my ear pierced since I was 12 years old (now 35). When I was about 20 (I guess) I got a second piercing. I was always able to wear any kind of earrings in both holes until several years ago (5+). Then all the sudden I could only wear 14k gold in the first hole, now I can't wear anything, within a few minutes of putting them in, they turn red and itch like crazy! I can wear both gold and silver in my second hole with no problems... go figure!!!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Costochondritis 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
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Peaceful Harpist
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   Posted 3/27/2007 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Me too!!! I can't wear nickle earrings or jewelry. I can wear sterling earrings for a couple of hours before the itching begins. I can wear sterling necklaces and bracelets and they don't bother me. I can't wear 10k anywhere. I can wear 14k and 18k anywhere. My wedding set is platinum which doesn't bother me. There is a nickle free sterling that some jewelers use, it's 99% sterling. My "Michael"ring is made out of that and it doesn't bother me at all. I also have a pr. of earrings made out of that sterling and they don't bother me at all. I don't know if my sensitivities are because of lupus or not.

I have to wear natural fabrics too. Does anyone else have fabric reactions?
Rest well, nesting is healing,  peaceful harpist 
Lupus(both SLE and Sub-Cutaneous Lupus),degenerative disc disease, multiple conective tissue disorder,hypothyroidism,severe anemia,luekopenia,asthma,R.A.,Raynaud's, Sjorgrens's and Rosecia, vit. D deficiency.  Medications: Plaquenil 400mg. day, Tramadol 100mgs 2-3 day, Neurontin 300mgs day, effexor 225mg day, Ativan 1mg 1-3day, Preacid 30mg day, Metroprol 25mg day, Levothyroxine 50mg day, Mobic 15mg day, Hydrocodone 500mg as needed every 4 hrs., Azelex Cream 2 x day, vitimin D supplements, iron/dextran infusions every 3 monthes and sun screen.New dx: fibromyalgia

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 3/27/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
same here. earring allergies get the best of me too...even after i take them out they still are red and itch for days afterwards. i can only wear gold and be okay.

and just a side note -- this was not the case until i started having lupus symptoms.

has anyone had that happen?

25 years old
UC since 8/05 Remission & Med Free since 8/06
Raynaud's 2/07
Eczema 2/07
Migraines since summer of 2003

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 3/27/2007 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
As far as I know I don't have lupus, although there's always that question of what my symptoms might lead to.  But I do know that I never really had a problem with allergies until my arthritis symptoms started 4.5 years ago.  I took sulfa antibiotics my entire life (long history of UTI's); never had a sulfa allergy until I took sulfasalazine for my arthritis.  Had mild seasonal allergies that get worse and worse every year--this year's gonna be a doozy.  I called Enliven Services once about my allergies, thinking that the enbrel was making my allergies worse.  The nurse told me that enbrel has nothing to do with it.  People with AI disease of any kind tend to have lots of allergies.  Always wore cheap earrings, necklaces, etc...  Nary a problem, but now?  My ears do feel better now--I've been two days without earrings, and I put a heating pad on my right ear last night.  Now if I could just get my husband to buy me some nice earrings....
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/2/2011 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a similar problem. I wore cheap-o earrings for no problem for years before some sort of allergy kicked in. Nickel-free and 14-ct. gold seemed to work for a while, but then even those started giving me trouble. So annoying! I pretty much gave up and stopped wearing earrings for several years. Then a couple years ago I heard about earrings made from titanium and niobium (two non-allergy metals), and without expecting much success, I decided to give them a try. They worked!! I am so happy to be able to wear earrings again!

I haven’t had much luck finding titanium and niobium earrings in stores, but I’ve ordered several pair of handmade earrings from this website -- www.variya.etsy.com -- and had absolutely no allergy problems with them, even when I leave them in overnight. I’m sure there are other sites where you can also buy them, but I haven’t searched yet because I’ve been so happy with the ones I’ve found there.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 11/3/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Me too! I can only wear gold. Most days I don't wear jewelry anymore.

Speaking of allergies and lupus, I also get contact dermatitis from adhesive bandages (i.e., bandaids).
So now I carry around Wound Seal powder and crazy glue for minor cuts.
dx: SLE 07/2011, OCD 2006, osteoarthritis 2002
rx: plaquenil 200mg/day, methotrexate 10 mg/week, NSAID for pain, zoloft 200 mg, folic acid
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