Maybe You’re Not Allergic to Metals in Jewelry

Do Your Ears Itch When You Put in Earrings?

I had my ears pierced way back in high school and everything was OK. I won’t go into the time that my dad tried to pierce my ears with a needle and ice, with his giant fingers and my tiny ear lobes.

I even got a piercing way up on my ear in the cartilage and enjoyed that for a while. It was the late 70s and double-piercing your ear lobes was just starting to be a thing, so I did that too. That didn’t go so well.

They got really sore and I couldn’t wear earrings in those holes. I don’t know the exact progression of things but at some point I couldn’t even wear the first, regular piercings. As soon as I’d put earrings in my ear lobes would start to itch, and turn bright red.

I’d heard of people being allergic to metals and I thought that was what had happened to me, too. So I stopped wearing earrings. For about THIRTY years!

It wasn't an Allergy to Metals - And I Can Wear Earrings Again

Fast forward to the wonderful internet era. I was on a message board and the subject came up. A fellow artist, who was also a nurse, said it could be an infection, not an allergy. She suggested putting Bacitracin, or a triple antibiotic cream on my ear lobes and also on my ear wires before putting them in.

Would you believe that it worked? I did that and no itching!

At first it was a temporary fix because if I didn’t do the ointment, my ears would itch again. But, after I did it for a while, I tried without the ointment and would you believe that now I don’t even have to do that? I’ve only tried it with sterling silver ear wires that I make, so I don’t know what happens with base metals, or other metal compositions.

You Should Try It

If, at some point you started being unable to wear earrings, and think you’ve developed an allergy, you should give this a try. It can’t hurt you, other than the itchiness or other reaction you usually have if it truly is an allergy.

Of course, if you have big reactions, or if you’re sensitive to a Bacitracin or Triple Antibiotic ointment, don’t try this.

Good luck. I hope it works for you, and I’d love to hear if it does. I can say that I’m really happy that I can wear earrings again. 

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3 thoughts on “Maybe You’re Not Allergic to Metals in Jewelry

  1. I sold a lot of earrings over the years. Early on I learned that many could not wear the sterling and/or pure silver that I used. I kept a supply of surgical steel hooks for those with problems. I eventually switched out and kept all earrings on the steel hooks and supplied the silver on request due to the steel staying nice looking during all the outdoor markets I did.

  2. Hi Lori – I also have often had the same problem and as you did, I solved it by putting a small amount of Polysporin on the earring hook before I put it in my ear! As long as I do this, I never seem to have a problem!

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