I have REALLY sensitive ears when it comes to earrings. For most of my life, the only earrings I could wear were those that had at least 14K gold. Anything else caused my ears to swell, turn bright red and get all pussy and gross. It was also incredibly painful. Even earrings that were labeled "hypoallergenic" did not work for me.
Now that I sell earrings, I wanted to make earrings that everyone (including myself) could wear, but were still affordable. At first I looked into gold, way too expensive so that option was thrown out immediately. I found some "hypoallergenic" posts that were good, but I still had reactions to them if I wore them for too long. I wanted something better so I did some research and found a couple of solutions.
The first option I discovered was Titanium. Titanium is a nickel-free, non-reactive metal that is used in surgical implants. If it doesn't cause reactions when placed inside our bodies, then it won't cause reactions when used in piercings. Best of all, it is totally affordable. It is only slightly more expensive than surgical steel. The only problem with titanium is that it is really hard and it cannot be soldered so its use is restricted. The titanium posts that I use actually use surgical steel too, the actual post is pure titanium, but the flat pad that I glue the flowers on and that the post is attached to is made out of surgical steel. The ear nuts (earring backs) I use are also made out of surgical steel as titanium is not flexible enough.
Surgical steel is also a great option for those with sensitive ears. It is also non-reactive and is the metal that is used in most surgical instruments. Although it is claimed to be nickel free, it does contain minute amounts of nickel, but the amount is so small that it usually does not cause allergic reactions.
For me, the titanium/surgical steel combination has been working great. I have had the same pair of earrings in for over a week now, with no reaction whatsoever.
For all the titanium earrings in my shop please go here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RisC?section_id=10220926
Another option I found was using clear plastic posts so that there is no metal at all and therefore no metal allergy. These were a little harder to find, but they are REALLY cheap and easy. When I tried the plastic posts, they also did not bother my ears. The plastic is flexible and easy to work with and incredibly lightweight. I almost forget that I am wearing earrings when I have them on. My only issue with the plastic ones are that the end is really pointy to make it easier to get into your ear. Because they bend easy, the end has to be sharp so that they will go through the piercing instead of just bending when you try to put them on. I don't like to wear these at night because the end pokes the side of my head when I sleep and it is a little uncomfortable.
For all of the plastic earrings in my shop, please go here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RisC?section_id=10220964
Plastic Earring Covers
The final option I have found that works okay are plastic earring covers. These are plastic sheaths that you slide over the earring post so that the metal does not come into contact with your skin. These are great if you have earrings that you really want to wear, but you cannot because of sensitivity. These take a little getting used to though. They make the post thicker than normal and take a little force to get into your ear. You also need to be sure your posts are long enough so that your back can still fit on. I don't like to wear these for very long either. I am paranoid that they will get stuck in my ear or something because they are so small.
My final tip is to make sure to use good hygiene when comes to wearing earrings. Before I mess with my ears, I make sure that I have washed my hands really well. Before putting any earrings on, I always disinfect them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. I also clean my ears well with rubbing alcohol using a q-tip or cotton ball. If my ears are irritated at all, then I put a little antibiotic ointment (neosporin) on the earring before I put it on and that seems to help. Otherwise, if they are irritated to begin with, it doesn't matter what type of earring I put on, they don't like it. The more I mess with my ears, the worse they get, so I try to not change my earrings too frequently.
I hope these tips help you!!!
Creations by Kara