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. According to Dermatitis Journal - 4.3% of total cases were reported between the 1960s and 1990s, 31.3% between 2000 and 2009, and 64.3% were reported between 2010 and 2015.
This is the main reason why 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 bio-compatibility. Bio-compatibility 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 earrings that want the medical grade title must pass a bio-compatibility test. Jewelry containing nickel can never be medical grade.
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 for any 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 maleable and the right choice for earring makers. Titanium is 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.