Woman Realizes She’s Been Accidentally Poisoning Herself For Months After Removing Her Earrings

Erin Dunn, from Atlanta, Ga., first noticed her eye turning red last November. Assuming it was just pink eye or a seasonal allergy, she made a quick trip to urgent care to confirm that it wasn’t anything more serious or contagious. She left the clinic with antibiotic drops and the reassurance that it wasn’t pink eye or contagious. Unfortunately, the drops didn’t work. She waited, hoping the redness would clear up on its own, only to find herself facing a more persistent issue by mid-December: a rash around her eyes, ears, mouth and neck. The rash was even on her fingers where her rings were. Embarking on a quest to find relief, the 24-year-old healthcare worker tried everything from steroid creams to diet changes. She even debated whether her beloved cat was the culprit, switching him to a hypoallergenic food and grooming him regularly, but nothing worked. Erin then happened across an article about earrings causing eczema and decided to remove them and see what happened. Almost immediately, she felt tremendous relief. It turns out that she has a sensitivity to the metals in the earrings and rings. Today, the itchiness, redness and irritation have almost completely disappeared and she feels like her normal self. When individuals with metal sensitivities wear inexpensive jewelry, the metal can cause contact dermatitis, an itchy rash or bumps on the skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, swelling, and peeling skin, often localized to areas where the jewelry makes contact, such as the earlobes, neck, or fingers. This reaction occurs because the immune system mistakenly identifies the metal ions as a harmful substance, triggering an inflammatory response. Those with metal allergies should wear hypoallergenic or high-quality metals. Pick jewelry that's made of nickel-free stainless steel, sterling silver, titanium, or 18-karat yellow gold to prevent such adverse reactions.