Allergy-safe jewelry by Simply Whispers took the top nine slots in a recent YAHOO tally of Top Selling Products on the Web. YAHOO, the powerful Internet search engine, tracks website sales in a range of product categories. Simply Whispers took YAHOO's jewelry category. The simplywhispers.com website offers three allergy-safe jewelry collections and watches on-line. Best sellers were birthstones, holiday jewelry, cubic zirconium pieces and watches.
The 40 percent jump in nickel-allergy sufferers over the past five years is driving sales of allergy-safe jewelry. Nickel is the fastest growing and biggest cause of skin rashes in North America today, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology's latest findings on skin allergens.
"The popular trend in body piercing is contributing to the outbreak," says David Cohen, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine and member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). He adds, "Locations such as the upper portions of the ears, lips, nose, nasal septum, tongue, navel, breasts and genitalia are frequently chosen for piercing and have displayed a challenging array of allergic reactions."
Nickel patient increase at New England Medical Center
"We are seeing an increase in patients with allergies to nickel content and sometimes to cobalt that may also be present," says Pamela Scheinman, MD, and contact dermatitis expert with the New England Medical Center. She explains, "Cells in the body react to the presence of nickel in the studs used to keep the pierced site open. The cells then develop a mechanism to react against the metal causing the skin to erupt. Unfortunately these cells - known as T-cells - develop a memory. Every time nickel comes into contact with skin, the T- cells think they are doing your body a favor by reacting. Eyelids, a popular site for piercing are particularly sensitive." Jewelry mislabeled, "hypoallergenic," and inaccurate consumer information are also blamed for the rash of nickel allergy patients in North America.
Skin health information on the web
For skin allergy information on-line simplywhispers.com offers links to the American Academy of Dermatology, Northeast Dermatology Associates, Dermatology On-line Journal, Allergy Cyber Center and The Skin Site. Information may also be accessed through hypoallergenic.com.
Nickel is used to add luster to items such as snaps, paper clips, drawer pulls and jewelry, including even 14 kt gold pieces that often contain nickel as well. "Among all chemical allergens, nickel is the most common in North America," notes Dr. Cohen.
Roman Research uses surgical stainless steel
To prevent nickel rashes, Simply Whispers jewelry is made of surgical-grade stainless steel and 24 kt electroplated gold for allergy-safe comfort. The company's Perfections line of allergy-safe jewelry and watches is made of allergy-safe metals electroplated with 24 kt palladium or 24 kt gold. Its Ultra Whispers line is made with nickel-free solid 14 kt gold or sterling silver. Seasonal jewelry, watches, chains, necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins and earrings are available.
The website was established by Roman Research, the only US manufacturer to make nickel-safe jewelry exclusively. The company is a sponsor of American Academy of Dermatology public education programs. The Hanson, Massachusetts company invented the safe, one-step ear-piercing gun.
In addition to logging on at www.simplywhispers.com, free catalogs and ordering are available at 800-451-5700. Major credit cards are accepted.