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

A woman who developed a gruesome rash on parts of her face and hands took months to realize she was “poisoning” herself by wearing cheap jewelry.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve been accidentally poisoning myself for the last like six months by wearing extremely cheap earrings,” she said in a now-viral TikTok video that garnered 1.5 million views.

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Erin Dunn, a 24-year-old healthcare worker, 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 on November 8, 2023, to confirm it wasn’t anything serious or contagious.

Erin Dunn, 24, developed a horrible rash around her eyes, lips, ears, and hands, and she eventually realized she was “accidentally poisoning” herself by wearing cheap earrings

Image credits: Tessa Edmiston

Image credits: formervegetarian

The woman from Atlanta, Georgia, left the clinic with antibiotic drops and reassurances that it wasn’t pink eye or contagious. But the drops didn’t work.

She waited, hoping the redness would clear on its own, only to find herself facing a more persistent issue by December 15th: a rash around her eyes.

“It persisted throughout May, mostly causing itchiness and peeling around my eyes, ears, mouth and neck, and also on my fingers where my rings were,” she told People. “Some days it flared up way worse than others.”

The young healthcare worker first got herself checked in November 2023 after assuming it may be pink eye or a seasonal allergy

Image credits: formervegetarian

Image credits: formervegetarian

Embarking on a quest to find relief, the young medical professional tried “everything” from steroid creams to diet changes. She even debated whether her beloved cat was the culprit, switching him to hypoallergenic food and grooming him regularly. Nothing worked.

“I even thought I might be allergic to my cat, so I switched him to hypoallergenic food and started vacuuming and brushing him every other day,” she told the outlet. “Then I changed to washing my face with a gentle cleanser and using a gentle moisturizer and healing ointment, which helped with the dryness but not the itchiness or irritation.”

She even tried tossing her makeup. But nothing made the itching around her eyes and the rashes on her lips, ears, and hands go away.

“I realized it should’ve probably eased up at least a little with one of those things and I kind of got a little thought that ‘what if it’s the earrings,’ so I took them out and my rash started clearing up within 24 hours,” she told Newsweek.

As the issue persisted, the woman from Atlanta tried everything from steroid creams and diet changes to new makeup and even new food for her cat

Image credits: formervegetarian

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

Image credits: formervegetarian

The skincare journey narrator also came across an article on Google about earrings causing eczema.

“When I realized they could be causing it, I thought, ‘I really hope it’s not my earrings because that would mean I just spent six months of my life and hundreds of dollars all because of my $2 earrings,’” she told People.

“As a child, I had some sensitivities to jewelry — never this severe, but occasional itching from rings and bracelets. This was the first time I felt like, ‘Oh my God, I think I figured it out!’ It gave me hope for the first time in months,” she added.

Now, the healthcare staffer feels like her “normal self” again, and her itchiness, redness, and irritation have almost completely disappeared.

“Mostly, I just feel like my normal self again. The biggest relief is that I’m not afraid to look people in the eye anymore and wonder if they can see my terrible reaction,” she said.

“I want people to know that if they’re dealing with something like eczema, acne or any other insecurity, they’re not alone,” she added. “Don’t lose hope because sometimes it just takes time to resolve these things.”

“When I realized they could be causing it, I thought, ‘I really hope it’s not my earrings because that would mean I just spent six months of my life and hundreds of dollars all because of my $2 earrings,’” she said during an interview

@formervegetarian Teehee #greenscreen #eczema #eczemahealing #skin #jewelry #health #holistichealth #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #skincare ♬ original sound – Erin

She said she created the recent TikTok video to share her experience and her new-found knowledge about metal allergies with her audience.

Metal allergies, particularly nickel allergies, are a common culprit behind allergic reactions to cheap jewelry.

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 instead of harmless, triggering an inflammatory response.

Those with metal allergies should wear hypoallergenic or high-quality metals. Pick jewelry that is made of nickel-free stainless steel, sterling silver, titanium, or 18-karat yellow gold to prevent such adverse reactions.

Other harmful substances that could be present in jewelry include cadmium. Long-term exposure to and ingestion of cadmium from the air, food, or water can lead to diarrhea, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, and kidney problems, among other symptoms.

Metal allergies, particularly nickel allergies, from cheap jewelry can cause redness, itching, swelling, peeling skin, and other symptoms

Image credits: Materialscientist

Image credits: Karly Jones

Cheap and mass-produced jewelry can also contain lead, which is generally considered safe for adults since it does not penetrate the skin. However, lead is also found in toys, cookware, and other sources, thus giving rise to the possibility of lead accumulating in the body over time.

“Cadmium and lead are very harmful substances for example to the central nervous system, kidneys and bones. [Lead] affects human development and reproduction, and cadmium is a carcinogenic heavy metal,” according to Siru Viljakainen, Customs Chemist.

While metal allergies can be a serious issue, a number of people are largely unaware of it. Hence, when Erin had her own experience with cheap jewelry, she felt it was important to share her months-long journey online so that others facing the same issue can find solutions.

“I posted about it on TikTok because every day I would look for answers or solutions to my problems, and I almost always went to TikTok,” she told People. “Usually, it’s doctors or real people sharing their experiences, but I never once saw a video talking about metal allergies.”

“I thought it was extremely important to share my story with others who are facing the same issue and may not have tried what I did,” she added.

A number of people realized they were facing the same issue after coming across Erin’s eye-opening video

The post Woman Realizes She’s Been “Accidentally Poisoning” Herself For Months After Removing Earrings first appeared on Bored Panda.
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