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10 Pairs of Cute Hypoallergenic Earrings

For those with metal sensitivities, a day in most hoops, studs, chandeliers or shoulder-dusters can be a real pain in the...ear. The usual culprit of most stinging or itching earlobes? Nickel, an inexpensive metal that's often mixed in with more precious ones to create an alloy. While it's most commonly found in cheaper earrings, trace amounts of nickel can be found in some higher-end gems, too—and for those allergic to it (about 10 to 15 percent of the all Americans), prolonged exposure can lead to rashes, swelling or even blisters. Not fun.

If you're sensitive to nickel, your best bet is to look for jewelry made from either pure sterling silver, 18-to-24-karat gold or a hypoallergenic metal like surgical/stainless steel or titanium. Most people can also tolerate gold vermeil, or sterling silver plated with gold. Be careful with earrings described as simply "gold-plated," however—that often indicates jewelry from a nickel-containing base with a gold overlay, which can easily wear off over time.

Click through to shop 10 pairs of earrings that won't irritate even the most sensitive ears—you might be surprised by how affordable some of them are!

Sleek, architectural spirals made of non-irritating steel.

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