Artisan earrings and jewelry are increasingly becoming popular among consumers. You can purchase them at festivals, malls, events, fairs and online. You might even receive unique Artisan jewelry as a gift from a loved one or friend. As popularity increases for this unique jewelry so do the office visits to dermatologists. Offices around the United States are seeing increased traffic due to red itchy earlobes.

If you are experiencing red itchy earlobes or a rash there is a possibility it can be from your jewelry. Artisan jewelry often contains nickel and other ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. The best way to test this is to stop wearing the Artisan jewelry for one week and then try to wear it again. If the redness, itching, and rash reappear there is a good chance the jewelry is causing the issue.

Other Causes of Itchy Ears

  • Temporal lobe abscess
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Impacted was
  • Middle ear infection
  • Acute otitis media
  • Folliculitis
  • Otitis externa
  • Barotrauma
  • Glue ear
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Labyrinthitis

Obviously, the list above includes inner ear problems as well as exterior ear problems. Some patients get confused about whether they should visit their primary doctor or the dermatologist.

Inner Ear vs. Exterior Ear

The easiest way to determine inner and exterior ear problems is to pay close attention to the source of the itch or discomfort. If the discomfort is located inside your ear, then you should consult with your primary doctor for further assistance.

If the itch and discomfort are located on your skin around your ear or on your ear and earlobes, it most likely is a skin related issue which means you should consult with your dermatologist.

Itching and skin issues on or around the ears should be taken care of immediately. If you delay the rash, redness or itching can spread to the inside of the ear which can make it more difficult to treat. Also, prolonging a visit to the dermatologist will cause you to suffer longer with the issue. It can also make the situation become worse and more difficult to treat.

You might love your Artisan jewelry and don’t want to give up wearing your favorite pair of earrings. However, the quality of your skin is more important. There is also some good news when it comes to Artisan jewelry, some are made with organic natural materials that have less risk of causing an allergic reaction. The next time you purchase Artisan jewelry make sure you ask if it contains nickel.

Dr GDr. Georgette Rodriguez is a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, Florida who provides her patients with only the most advanced and up to date dermatologic care available. She received her medical degree from University of Florida College of Medicine and has been in practice 15+ years. Dr. Rodriguez accepts several types of health insurance. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and the American Society for Mohs Surgery. She specializes in complete dermatology services including medical, cosmetic, and pediatric dermatology.  She is one of 14 doctors at Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System who specialize in Dermatology. To make an appointment, please call her office at 305-667-5480.