Hi Cat The answer to your question is yes and the culprit is nickel.
From what I understand, about 20% of women are allergic to it.
Reactions range from minor irritation & swelling to a pretty severe
rash and possible infection.
Platinum and nickel-free karat gold alloys are the best solutions.
Some people can tolerate 18k gold, depending on the level of
sensitivity. From personal experience, I can tell you that degree of
sensitivity can increase over time, although I can’t offer an
explanation as to why that is the case.