Jewelry is a beautiful form of self-expression. Jewelry pieces not only show off your personality and style, but they are also a great accessory for special occasions and can help improve one’s self-confidence. They can have sentimental value and, in some cases, are a great investment. However, many people do not realize that jewelry can sometimes have an adverse effect on our health, especially if we are not careful in choosing the pieces we buy.

How Jewelry Can Affect Your Health

Platinum, gold, silver — these are the most common metals you might think of when you hear about jewelry. If money is not an object for you or if you are willing to splurge on a high-quality piece of jewelry, then you will not have any problems finding pieces made out of these metals. For those not so willing, on the other hand, budget alternatives are often their best choice. However, budget jewelry can be dangerous if you are not careful.

Affordable jewelry often comes with a price: your health. Not only are they low in quality, but they are usually made up of cheaper metals used as fillers or as components to make an entire piece of jewelry, which can negatively impact your health.

Metals You Should Avoid

Many imitation jewelry pieces are often made up of cheaper metals to keep the prices low.  However, these cheaper metals are not as safe as you might think.

Lead

It has been scientifically proven that lead can cause many problems, especially if it enters your body. Brief exposure to the metal can cause fatigue and stomach pain, among other things, while high levels of exposure can cause anemia and even brain and kidney damage. It is also especially dangerous for pregnant women as it can also affect their unborn child.

Cadmium

With the lead ban in place, manufacturers have increasingly used another metal. However, this new replacement metal, which is used in numerous kinds of imitation jewelry, is more dangerous than its predecessor. Cadmium is a carcinogen that can cause kidney dysfunction, osteoporosis, and cancer when ingested or inhaled.

Aluminum

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. While not as harmful as the previously mentioned metals, high levels of exposure can cause serious health problems like memory loss, arthritic pain, rashes, reduced coordination, and balance.

Copper

Copper is a metal more common in our everyday lives than you would expect- it is even found in our bodily tissues. To survive, we need less than a milligram every day. Anything more than that can lead to copper poisoning. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and cramps. In more serious cases, it can cause internal organ damage and can even result in death.

Nickel

While nickel is a common metal, it can also be toxic, especially for people who are allergic to it. Coming into contact with this metal can cause rashes, blistering, and redness.

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How to Protect Yourself and Keep Yourself Healthy

While many types of imitation jewelry are made out of dangerous metals, it is important to remember that not all of them are. As long as you stay vigilant and ask the right questions, you can protect your skin and the rest of your body from any negative health effects.

Know What Your Jewelry Is Made Out of

When shopping for jewelry, it is important to know what kind of materials these pieces are made of. If you are unable to find information on the materials used or if the seller does not specify them, consider that as a red flag. When materials are not mentioned, it usually means that they are not made from any precious metals.

It is also important to remember that any jewelry that gives off the appearance of being made from precious metals but is inexpensive is also a red flag, as precious metals are expensive. While it may be tempting to get a cheaper alternative, better-quality jewelry is a more logical investment. They last longer and, in most cases, do not cause an allergic reaction. So whether you have a fiancée and are planning to buy a wedding band for her or you are someone who would like to buy a bracelet or necklace for yourself, it is important to always ask about the materials that make up the jewelry piece.

Clean Jewelry Pieces Regularly

Cleaning your jewelry is an important part of keeping your body healthy and safe, as accumulated grime and dirt can cause infections if they come into contact with a wound or open skin. This is especially important for jewelry like earrings.

Avoid Wearing Jewelry in the Workplace

Your employer may not allow you to wear jewelry in the workplace — and for a good reason. Jewelry-related accidents in the workplace are more common than you think. They can conduct electricity and electrocute you, get caught in machinery, burn or freeze your skin, and transfer harmful bacteria.

Cheap imitation jewelry, while tempting to get because of their low prices, are not worth the fuss. It is better to be safe than sorry and invest in good quality pieces that can last you a long time. At the end of the day, you do not have to have a lot of jewelry — all you need is a good set of jewelry that makes you happy. With proper maintenance, you are sure to keep using them for years to come.

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