Shopping for earrings used to be easy. You chose either yellow gold, silver, white gold with a diamond or colored gemstone. Now it seems that so many women and girls have allergic reactions to earring metal, it’s gotten a lot more complicated.
You should go one step further to ensure you can wear or give as a gift, earrings that won’t cause an allergic reaction to nickel or other metal. Buy nickel-free, “Medical-Grade” earrings.
What does “Medical-Grade” Mean?
When you see the term “medical-grade,” it means that the material has been tested for biocompatibility. Biocompatibility implies the content is biologically compatible. It will not react to living tissue. In other words, it won’t give you a rash or allergic reaction.
The materials undergo testing that follows the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) standards. The FDA enforces these standards, and they are recognized in over 140 countries.
Another testing for medical-grade earring materials follows the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines, ISO 10993 or medical grade materials.
Any material that contacts human skin (or tissue) and wants the medical-grade title must test for biocompatibility and pass. It’s why you’ll never see nickel or jewelry alloys with nickel called medical-grade. Nickel can cause contact dermatitis, those unsightly, itchy, red earlobes from an allergic reaction.
Types of Medical Grade Materials for Earrings
Although the FDA does not have an approved “list” of medical-grade materials, here are the safe alternatives to buy when selecting earrings:
- Stainless Steel – Grades 440 and 420
When shopping for hypoallergenic or nickel-free jewelry, you will see stainless steel listed as medical grade. However, there are different alloys. Alloy 316 is a standard metal in earrings and other jewelry. Unfortunately, it contains up to 11% nickel and may cause allergies.
Gold plating over a mixed base metal is another option. Look for gold 24k (pure) as the plating and the parts that touch the skin.
To be sure your jewelry is 100% nickel-free, buy one of these two excellent choices for earrings, medical-grade plastic, and titanium.
About Medical-Grade Plastic Earrings
Medical grade plastic has unique characteristics that make it suitable for medical devices and perfect for earrings. It is naturally corrosion resistant, easy to clean and sterilize, temperature resistant and does not harbor bacteria.
Medical-grade plastic earrings are very durable and so lightweight that you’ll forget you are wearing them.
Nickel-Free Medical-Grade Titanium Earrings
There are four commercially pure grades of titanium. Grade 1 is the most formable and the right choice for earring makers. Titanium is very corrosion resistant and extremely strong. It has a silver color that polishes well. Its high strength means it will hold stones, pearls, and diamonds securely.
Best Source for Medical-Grade Earrings
Not all hypoallergenic jewelry is skin friendly. Hypoallergenic means there is a reduced chance of allergy. It does not eliminate it because hypoallergenic jewelry may still contain enough nickel to cause contact dermatitis.
Your best source for medical-grade earrings is Blomdahl USA. We are the leader in 100% nickel-free earrings, medical-grade plastic earrings, and medical-grade titanium earrings. We use top designers to fashion beautiful jewelry highlighted with Swarovski Crystals that make you look and feel beautiful.