It's Saturday night. Date Night. Hair is done, make-up perfected, your trusty little black dress is on, but something is missing...
You reach into your jewelry box and pull out a pair of dangly earrings to complete your outfit. Your dress' high neckline basically begs for this shiny pair.
But the last time you wore them, your ears were crusty, itchy and infected for almost a week.
Beauty is pain, right?
Actually, wrong. It doesn't have to be that way!
Here's a handy guide to learn how to choose the best earrings for sensitive ears.
This may sound obvious, but it really makes a difference. Your roommate or friend armed with a needle, an apple, and ice does not count as a "professional ear piercer," no matter how many ears they have pierced.
If your ears were not professionally pierced that could be why you have sensitive ears that are prone to infection. Consult a doctor about an ointment that may be able to heal the infection.
Before buying your earrings, check to see what material your jewelry is made out of. Nickel is the cheapest and often causes "nickel itch." Whereas gold, platinum, and silver, while expensive, almost never cause issues. It's very rare to get an infection from these noble metals.
For a cheaper, but good quality option, try titanium and plastic, which are also rare to get an allergic reaction from. But do know there are typically fewer earring options in titanium, and plastic breaks easily and looks cheap.
There's also surgical steel, which is hardwearing and rare to get an allergic reaction from. But these earrings' styles tend to be thicker and less delicate.
If your favorite pair earrings are already nickel, like your go-to pair for date night, you don't have to throw them away. Simply coat the backing with nail enamel (clear nail polish), and that should do the trick. If they're still infecting you after the nail enamel trick, then it's time to retire them.
If you still insist on wearing your nickel earrings, another trick to prevent infections and protect your skin from the earring post, is vaseline and hydrogen peroxide. First clean your earrings with hydrogen peroxide, then coat the backing of your earring in vaseline.
You do have to reapply the vaseline every couple of hours, which is why many prefer just doing the nail enamel trick.
Sometimes short-term sensitivity to your piercing is caused by a bacterial infection. This can happen after a new piercing by simply touching your ear with a dirty finger. A bacterial infection can be identified by swelling, redness, throbbing pain and even puss.
Prevent and cure your bacterial infection by keeping your piercings clean, and regularly swapping the area with an antiseptic. This should make the infection heal in a few days. If not, seek medical attention as you might need to go on antibiotics.
To prevent infections with new piercings, wipe the area twice a day with a saline solution.
Just like anyone at a jukebox knows, nickel back is never a good choice. And in this case, nickel back is not one of the most universally hated band and singer of the 2001 hit How You Remind Me. Now, we're talking about earrings with nickel backs.
Yes, it was mentioned earlier, but it's worth repeating. Earrings made of nickel are usually the most likely to cause an infection. So the best earrings for sensitive ears are not made out of nickel.
Any earrings labeled "hypoallergenic" means the material used to make the earrings are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But do know that there is no standard a jewelry maker has to meet to get a hypoallergenic label. Don't assume because your earrings say "hypoallergenic," that they won't cause an infection.
Hypoallergenic earrings could mean there is no nickel on the surface, but the earring itself can still be made out of coated nickel. This can be okay if you don't wear earrings that often.
If you feel naked without earrings, then invest in a higher quality pair. Sterling silver, gold, and platinum rarely cause infections, so you can technically call them hypoallergenic.
A good rule of thumb when earring shopping is, instead of going for earrings that claim to be hypoallergenic, focus on what the earrings are actually made of.
Now that you know what your earrings should be made of, how do you pick a pair that looks the best on you?
Well, first you need to determine your skin tone. To do this, look at your wrists in good natural lighting.
If your veins look purple, you have a cool skin tone. If your veins are more green, you have a warm skin tone. If your veins look blue in some areas and green in others, then you're a ghost.
Kidding, you have a neutral skin tone.
People with cool skin tones look best in light or white metals like white gold, platinum or silver. They also look best in brightly colored gemstones like red, blue, purples and green.
People with warm skin tones look best in yellow or rose gold, copper, and brass jewelry. As for gemstones, warm skin tones should stick with orange, brown, yellow and turquoise.
If you have a neutral skin tone, you look good in both white and yellow metals and any gemstone. Lucky you!
By now you should know how to find the best earrings for sensitive ears. It all starts with a professional piercing and keeping that area as clean as possible. Instead of going for earrings that just say hypoallergic, know what your earrings are actually made out of.
And since it's worth repeating, avoid earrings made out of nickel. They are the worst earrings for sensitive ears. If your favorite earrings are nickel, treat them with nail enamel, hydrogen peroxide and or vaseline.
When it comes to picking out that perfect pair of earrings, know which metals and gemstones match your skin tone, and let the compliments roll in.
If your body is particularly sensitive to metals, you may want to consider buying hypoallergenic jewelry. How is this jewelry made, you ask? Find out here.