The 12 Best Earrings for Sensitive Ears to Avoid Irritation and Discomfort

15 Nov.,2022


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Getting your ears pierced is an exciting moment—a game-changer when it comes to accessorizing—as the tiny punctures open you up to countless more earring options. Unfortunately for some, the satisfaction can be short-lived when they realize their skin is reacting negatively to those new baubles. Many affordable jewelry pieces use nickel as the base metal, and with time, friction, and moisture, the skin can become increasingly sensitive, experts say.

Everyone's ears are different, so not all earrings will work for you if you have a particular allergy to that metal. The only way to assess sensitivity is through a trial-and-error process, understanding the materials that tend to be pretty troublesome. Generally speaking, you want to avoid nickel, copper, and cobalt and opt for sterling silver or gold that’s at least 14K. If your ears still react negatively, you might try titanium or platinum, which tend to be the least reactive. And, worry not: The pieces don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. You just have to know where to look.

Meet the Expert

  • Dendy Engelman, MD, is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon based in New York City.
  • Marion Fasel is an author and the founder of The Adventurine, an online jewelry magazine.

“Unless you insist on buying 24K gold, hypoallergenic earrings don’t have to come with a high price tag,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologic surgeon. “The cost can start at $10 and go up [from there].”

To simplify your search for earrings for sensitive ears, Byrdie did the vetting for you and picked the best pieces available online, with the help of our experts. So, say goodbye to painful, red lobes. The stylish earrings ahead are safe for even the most sensitive ears.