Are clip-on earrings safer than having your ears pierced?
There has been a long debate about whether it's better to wear clip earrings or go for having your earlobes pierced. Over the years we've seen damage caused by both types of earrings resulting in some unsightly lobes.
The usual suspects are those gorgeous long dangle earrings the teenage me used covet on a Saturday afternoon's shopping expedition. They'd skim the shoulders, sway when you danced, helped you make a dramatic entrance, and made the most basic outfit a bit more sexy.
Often they were heavy though, and after an hour would be unbearable to wear any more. Off they came, along with the 5 inch high heels and the relief was wonderful!
It's not just big earrings which can cause damage, smaller earrings, including hoops which are heavier than they appear can also be a culprit.
If you are worried, then always check the weight before buying. Most shops will not allow you to try them on for hygiene reasons, but sometimes you can hook them over your own earring to check the weight.
Where you may want a substantial heaviness in a bangle or necklace, to give it that feel, it's usually the opposite for earrings, whatever the size.
If your clip earrings feel very tight, they can be slightly adjusted by very carefully bending the clip fitting outwards a tiny bit to loosen up the clip. Be careful though as some clips are made of quite brittle material.
Likewise if they are loose then rubber fixings can be bought to cushion the clip against the ear. Check with any reputable jeweller if you're nervous about making adjustments yourself.
Clip-on earrings are great for the larger styles. Also for some flat shapes, where they can tip forward, a clip will keep the earring correctly positioned.
The big problem is when the clip fixture is tighter than it should be. A plastic surgeon explained that the tissue inside the lobe will eventually get softer due to the constant pressure from a clip-on and lose its structure and elasticity.
If you swap between clip-ons and pierced earrings the tissue within the lobes is a lot softer and more liable to tear.
Prolonged wearing of heavy pierced earrings can also lead to damage of the lobe and even a complete split in the tissue. This can also happen if an earring is inadvertently caught or pulled.
All's not lost though! Split lobes can be repaired by a plastic surgeon and we've seen the results which look incredibly neat. Earlobe surgery has become a lot more common due to over-stretched flesh tunnels and changes in fashion and lifestyle.
We are often asked about the availability of sterling silver (or 9ct gold) clip-on earrings. Due to UK hallmarking laws, all of an earring has to be made of the metal described which greatly adds to the cost of the item. Silver is a soft metal and the 'springiness' needed for a clip doesn't last as long, which is why most clip-ons tend to be made in non-precious metals. There is the option of screw type fittings which can be more secure, but they can also become quite uncomfortable if worn for long periods.
However we can convert some of our drop earrings on request, and have some items in our designer ranges made specially with clip-on fittings, although there will be an additional charge for this work.
As always, if you need any advice on the suitability or weight of any of our earrings, simply contact us and we'll be happy to help. If you're having problems with some earrings you already own and would like some more information on the options for converting them to clip-on or vice versa we may also be able to help with that.