Is sterling silver hypoallergenic?

Sterling silver

What does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic means non-allergenic, refers to any product that should not trigger an allergic reaction. For those individuals with sensitive skin, this can be a top priority when looking for jewelry products.

Every individual is unique and may not have the same sensitive reaction when a metal makes contact with skin, however, precious metals like silver and gold are considered hypoallergenic.

Is all silver jewelry hypoallergenic?

Pure silver 100% is entirely hypoallergenic, however, pure silver is very rarely found in the jewelry commerce because it is too soft for a Silversmith to craft a jewelry design. High purity makes it relatively weak and soft, that makes pure silver jewelry be easily dented from the slightest contact with harder surfaces throughout daily routines.

Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other alloys usually copper, the composition is a great mixture because both silver and copper are known to be hypoallergenic metals.

However, you might find some sterling silver products that are made by less reputable manufacturers who mix the 7.5% composition with other cheaper options like nickel, which is known to be an allergenic metal to small percentage of the world’s population, according to National Institute of Health (NIH), roughly 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel.

Fashion jewelry that made of non-valuable base metals like stainless steel and brass are known to be allergenic for individual with hypersensitive skin, it may contain trace amounts of nickel and iron.

How do I know if I’m allergic to a metal?

Symptoms include turning skin to green, rashes on the skin, irritation, redness, swelling, and itching where the metal makes contact with the skin. This can be uncomfortable somewhere like the ears if you are unknowingly wearing a pair of earrings made of metal you are allergic to, or your neck area when you are wearing necklace, or your hand wrist and fingers when you are wearing bracelet and ring.