Tuesday, July 15

My Birthday Present

I was gifted with gold jewelry on my birthday recently. It was a delicate gold bracelet beautifully adorned with Swarovski crystals. I wore it when I attended the wedding of my sister's friend. It was great at first, with some of the ladies complimenting my newest accessory, but later in the evening I began to feel some itchiness underneath my bracelet. The sensitive skin on my wrist started to turn reddish.

I thought then that I was allergic to gold. It was my first time to wear such an elegant jewelry. I rarely wear anything made of gold. I rather prefer silver, wood or any other inexpensive material.

After the wedding when we all went home, I immediately did some research on skin allergies with gold jewelries and gold watches. Some people do complain about having contact dermatitis with gold watches or gold jewelries, but the experts say it isn't caused by gold, but rather by nickel.

Nickel is often used as a strengthening alloy for gold since it's soft when pure. According to my research, nine carat gold jewelries or gold watches are often mixed with nickel, while 12 carat stuff and those made with silver should be relatively safe.

Some people develop nickel allergy after some period of exposure to it, while others develop dermatitis or eczema upon immediate contact. I am well aware my family has a history of skin eczema so this explains my sensitivity to my bracelet's nickel portion.

I am now sure that my newest jewelry is not really a 12 carat one. Yes, I know it's probably cheap but it's given by someone I care about. So I'll probably wear it again in the future.

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