There is no better feeling quite like shopping for or receiving a ring. Beautiful gems and precious metals forever carry a promise, thought, or special occasion. However, an allergy to the ring’s metal, sudden or chronic, can put a damper on the special occasion by leaving your skin swollen or irritated. Yet this is a frequent experience for those who suffer from metal allergies. However, this can be easily prevented by shopping for beautiful hypoallergenic rings that are far from ordinary. But what are the best hypoallergenic rings, and what should you look for in a hypoallergenic ring?
What are Metal Allergies?
Metal allergies are common immune system conditions, affecting nearly 10% and 15% of people. A person’s body perceives a specific type of metal as a toxin causing the skin to react with pain where the jewelry sits. As a result, uncomfortable symptoms tend to show up as rashes, swelling, blisters, and itching. Yet it is essential to know the cause before spending money on a substantial ring. Your doctor or dermatologist can tell you better whether your symptoms are from a metal alloy allergy or another condition.
What types of metals cause allergies?
Similar to other allergies, a reaction to metal alloys can develop seemingly out of the blue, even years after their first exposure. Once the allergy is triggered, however, it will persist. Although metal allergies are often associated with cheap imitation jewelry, high carat gold or silver jewelry can contain traces of known metal alloy irritants. A good jeweler can tell you exactly which metal alloys went into each of their rings to allow you to make a smart decision without stretching your budget.
Listed below are a few of the metals and metal alloy types that are associated with uncomfortable allergic reactions:
Nickel: Nickel allergies have been on the rise recently, now affecting 24% to 36% of women and 7% to 15% of men. This metal causes a reaction by breaking down into a type of salt when exposed to water or sweat. Salt, of course, is irritating for the skin, hence the saying “pour salt into open wounds.”
Cobalt: Cobalt allergies, on the other hand, affect only about 2% of the general population. This metal can manifest as contact dermatitis or irritant dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a skin rash from contact with cobalt. However, irritant dermatitis is a reaction when the skin is repeatedly exposed over time. Cobalt allergies are often in tandem with nickel allergies.
Lead: Although some metal alloys have a small percentage of lead, they have been known to cause birth defects and strong reactions.
What Rings are Hypoallergenic?
It’s a common practice to use metal alloys in jewelry production to lower costs, which is why you need to take special care when selecting jewelry. Suppose you have experienced skin irritation in the past. In that case, you should opt for a hypoallergenic ring to minimize the risk of skin allergies. So, what are the best hypoallergenic rings? The safest ring to wear for those with sensitive skin or known allergies is titanium rings, tungsten rings, or black zirconium rings.
Titanium is a non-reactive and biocompatible metal allowing it to peacefully coexist with the human body without an allergic reaction, skin irritation, or discoloration. In contrast, most other metals are reactive, causing the human body to build up an intolerance for them and a contact allergy when exposed for an extended time. In fact, because of titanium’s unique nonallergenic properties, it has been used widely for medical implants and dentistry. However, not all titanium rings are made with the same properties. Therefore, it is best to verify what alloys are in the titanium jewelry before purchasing, especially if you’re looking for hypoallergenic rings.
At Avant-Garde, all three of our grades of titanium jewelry have pure, medical-grade titanium that is 100% hypoallergenic and free of harmful metals. So by choosing Titanium Style’s titanium rings over other metals, you will get a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry and peace of mind.
Not all tungsten rings are made equally. Depending on their composition, tungsten rings may contain cobalt. Cobalt alloys can cause skin irritation for some individuals and may trigger rashes. In addition to skin reactions, cobalt-based tungsten rings will appear to have spots or stains from contact with the skin over time. This is because oxidation occurs when cobalt binds with oils in the skin, making the metal appear similar to tarnished silver.
However, handcrafted tungsten rings by Avant-Garde are hypoallergenic, being 100% cobalt-free. Here are some of our favorite tungsten ring designs.
Black Ceramic Rings
Black rings have become very popular. However, most black rings are not natural and often contain alloys that could irritate your skin. Most black metals are created with plating or coating over the metal or alloy to give it a black appearance. So, as the plating wears down or chips, the actual metal will be exposed and irritate your skin.
If you want a black ring and peace of mind, a black ceramic ring is a great alternative. The jewelry-grade ceramic used in Avant-Garde’s black ceramic rings is 100% cobalt-free and hypoallergenic. In addition, black ceramic rings are non-conductive, lightweight, and guaranteed scratch-resistant for everyday wear and tear.
Find Your Perfect Hypoallergenic Ring
Don’t let a metal allergy prevent you from enjoying and remembering a special occasion! Instead, find a unique hypoallergenic ring that fits your style and personality. Browse Avant-Garde’s massive selection of hypoallergenic titanium, tungsten, and black ceramic rings, both traditional and alternative styles. If you can’t find what you are looking for, contact us, and we can create a custom ring just for you.