Open Wound Plus Bacteria Can Result To Nickel Metal Allergy
Research has shown that another factor that can trigger metal allergy is bacteria.
The surface of our bodies contains some microorganisms or bacteria, which reside on the skin. When the bacteria enter the body along with the metal, the white blood cells , which are our body’s defense system, will begin to fight and dispose the bacteria. Since the metal comes together with the bacteria, it will also be regarded as an enemy and starts to attack it. Here’s where the problem starts.
This is the particular point in time that the body’s immune system will start to consider the nickel metal as a foreign invader and triggers allergic reaction. At a later time, even if you are only exposed to the “metal part”, the body will attack it and cause skin rashes known as “allergic contact dermatitis”. Latest study reveals that this is the hidden cause of “metal allergies”.
IMPORTANT: Bacteria can easily enter the body if you scratch your skin. If you scratch especially the area where the metal nickel and sweat are exposed, then germs can enter from there all the way to the bloodstream and will greatly increase your risk of metal allergy.
What Items Should I Test For Nickel
This is a comprehensive list of items that often contain nickel, but it is not exhaustive. Test the metal items you often contact.
- Belt buckles
- Gold – especially white and yellow 10K and 14K
- Guitar strings
- Watches and watch bands
Interesting fact: Expensive white or yellow gold can contain enough nickel to cause sensitization when used in ear piercing.
What Does A Nickel Allergy Look Like
The nickel allergy shows up on the part of the skin where the contact occurred. It often takes the shape of the item like a watchband, bracelet band, or belt buckle. In some cases, like with systemic contact dermatitis, the allergy can show up on other parts of the body. Look for the following symptoms:
- The nickel allergy looks like a red patch and bumps on the skin.
- For darker skin, the rash can cause the skin to look darker.
- Dry patches that look like burn marks.
- The rash feels tender to the touch or leaks fluid.
- In the case of sunscreen, harsh rashes appear on the arms and legs where you applied the cream.
- Rashes that come and go at the same spot on your skin.
If these symptoms show up on your arms, face, and youre not sure where the rash came from, make sure to see your dermatologist immediately.
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Initial Consultation And The Open Application Test
Before starting treatment, we will ask a series of questions that can pinpoint if there is indeed a nickel allergy. We need to know about your family history, previous rashes, your work environment, or any recent changes in your routine. Well also perform a physical exam to pinpoint the symptoms of a nickel allergy. Sometimes, the info is enough for us to confirm ACD.
If we believe that the nickel is in a product like a lotion or a sunscreen, well try an open application test. With this test, we will have the patient apply the product on a patch of skin to see if there is an adverse reaction. If the skin develops a rash, we can confirm the nickel allergy and start with treatment.
How Do You Know If Youre Allergic To Metal
It helps to understand what happens when your body comes in contact with a metal to which youre allergic. Metal allergies are similar to any other type of allergic reaction, says Dr. Anthony.
Your skin cells pick up small molecules of metal, which travel to your lymph nodes. Your body treats the offending substance like a foreign invader and quickly mounts an immune response. The result: redness, itching, swelling or a rash, with skin blistering or scaling at the site.
The symptoms of a metal allergy range from mild to severe. Each time youre re-exposed to the offending metal, your skin reacts in the same way.
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Avoid These Things That May Contain Nickel
One of the best ways to fight your nickel allergy is to avoid the things that contain nickel. In some cases, this may be easier said than done. However, youll run the risk of having more severe reactions with prolonged exposure. The allergy can bring discomfort, impact your social life, and can rack up your medical expenses in the long-run.
- Avoid stainless steel jewelry, piercings, and other items that contain nickel.
- Use cloth covers on zippers, clasps, and buttons that can cause unwanted reactions.
- Remove products in your home that are known to have nickel, including high-nickel foods.
- If you work with or around nickel, wear the appropriate protective gloves and clothing to reduce the risk of exposure.
- If you need advice, speak with your dermatologist.
Following Points Must Be Taken Into Consideration While Drafting A Low Nickel Diet
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Your Nickel Rash Could Become Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome
Before November, 2015 I had never heard of Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome. I had been experiencing allergic rashes to jewelry for years. and couldnt wear anything but yellow gold. What I didnt know was that a simple nickel allergic reaction on the outside of my body could also cause systemic issues inside my body. Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome causes not only a rash from nickel on ones hands, eyelids, inner elbows, knees and buttock but can also involve the respiratory system, neurological system and gastrointestinal system.SNAS can cause rhinitis and bronchial asthma, brain fog and hallucinations and even Celiac-like symptoms.
It took over 40 years for me to get the correct diagnosis. After over a decade of suffering from gastrointestinal issues , and visiting the top Gastroenterologists in the United States, no one could figure out what I was suffering from. I visited allergists, who said food allergies dont present issues in the gastrointestinal tract. I went to dermatologists who gave me creams for the nickel rash, insisted it was a contact dermatitis, and didnt believe me when I said the rashes occurred after I ate specific foods . I went to homeopathic MDs, natural-paths, nutritionists, and dietitians. I even had food sensitivity tests run.
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What To Expect From Your Doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms changed over time?
- What at-home treatments have you used?
- What effect did those treatments have?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
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How Can You Tell If You Have An Allergy To Nickel
When people are allergic to nickel, theyll develop a rash right at the site of contact. With time, that rash may spread. A common scenario is when women wear earrings and start to develop a red itchy rash on their earlobes.
With this type of allergic reaction, the rash is delayed it usually takes 2 to 3 days before the rash shows up, although it may take as few as hours or as long as one week.
This rash isn’t only delayed–it can also be long-lasting. In fact, once the rash is there, it can take up to 8 weeks for it to go away.
While you may suspect an allergy to nickel, patch testing is required to confirm this allergy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nickel Allergy
The symptoms of nickel allergy can be mild, or severe enough to be disabling. They include red skin, itching or burning sensations, blisters, cracked skin and, in severe cases, swelling and spread beyond the site of initial contacts. A severe form of nickel allergy called systemic nickel allergy syndrome can also cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
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Check Your Jewelry At Home With A Nickel Test Kit
If you’re purchasing jewelry, and you’re not sure if it contains nickel, you can purchase a nickel test kit. This kit contains a chemical called dimethylglyoxime. The use of this chemical does not harm the object being tested.
When applied to a metal object with a cotton swab, the solution will turn pink in the presence of nickel. This test may not pick up miniscule amounts of nickel, but it’s usually a good screen for jewelry. One company that sells the test kit is www.nickelsolution.com.
If You Think You May Be Allergic To Nickel What Strategies Can Help Protect You Against Nickel In Your Jewelry
There are strategies to help protect you against the nickel in your jewelry, such as using barrier coatings or metals. You can also purchase jewelry that does not contain nickel.
I’ll mention several sources below for these, but please note that I do not have affiliations with any of these companies, and therefore cannot certify them. Shop, as always, with caution.
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Other Foods Containing Considerable Amount Of Nickel
Beer, red wine, mackerel, tuna, herring and shellfish, sunflower seeds, linseeds, hazelnuts, marzipan, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, raw carrots The mean total dietary intake of nickel has been reported to be between 0.12-0.21 mg in UK, 0.13 mg in Finland, 0.17 mg in US. and between 0.207-0.406 mg in Canada. The dietary intake of nickel in Denmark is comparatively higher and could reach over 900 g/day, and this was due to the high intake of oatmeal and legumes, including soybean, nuts, cocoa and chocolate. Indian diets are rich in plant food in comparison to Western diet, which is rich in animal food, and therefore, it contains considerable amount of nickel. Cereals, pulses and vegetables constitute the main bulk of the Indian diet. Pulses comprise varieties of gram, lentils, beans and peas, which have high nickel content. Vegetables used in Indian diets include green leaves, roots and tubers and other vegetables. Vegetables such as spinach, onion and garlic are very popular and are found to contain moderately high amounts of nickel. Tea is consumed throughout India dried tea leaves used for beverage making have been found to contain high nickel concentration which is about 3.9-8.2 mg/kg. Similarly, Coffee, which is very popular in South India, is found to contain high nickel concentration of 43 mg per 100 g of coffee beans . Cocoa beans, from which cocoa and chocolate are made may contain up to 10 mg/kg of nickel and are common constituents of fast-foods in India.
Finding Anallergy Patch Testnear Me
To get a patch test, contact your local dermatologist to confirm that they provide allergy testing. Your doctor will ask you to bring any household products, skincare products, or perfumes that you may suspect are behind the reaction. The doctor will place small samples of the products and over 30 other potential allergens, on small patches. These patches are then applied on several strips onto your back.
You will have to keep the patches applied for a few days, making sure to not get them wet. At the 48 hour mark, youll come back to your dermatologist to remove the patches. From there, the doctor will take note of any allergens that created an adverse reaction. You may have a follow-up appointment to confirm any allergies and to undergo treatment if necessary.
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Is Nickel Allergy A Serious Condition
Usually, nickel allergy is not a serious condition and many people even being allergic to nickel do not develop any symptoms because of either inadequate exposure or insufficient sensitization and primary immune response generation in the body. Even after the sensitization for nickel has developed, the secondary immune response is also mild and generally limited to local symptoms in most of the cases characterized by redness, itching, vesicle formation at the exposed area. It can be dealt with topical corticosteroids and nonspecific soothing medications like emollients etc. No long-term medication is required for it and morbidity is also very less.
But severe allergic reactions and systemic immune response against nickel have also been found in many cases. Such cases are commonly associated with poor compliance of the patient and repeated exposures of the nickel to the body. As the response is directly proportional to the quantity of nickel to which the body is exposed, sometimes occupational exposure is responsible for the life-threatening presentation of symptoms because of exposure to a larger amount nickel at once. In such cases, hospitalization is required immediately and emergency management of the symptoms is essential to prevent morbidity and mortality. Injectable glucocorticoid, injectable antihistaminics, etc. are required to deal with the condition effectively.
What You Should Know About Silver And Nickel Allergies
A silver allergy is a form of metal hypersensitivity, which is a disorder of the immune system. Its a condition that affects around 10 to 15% of the population, although it mostly affects women. A silver allergy can produce a reaction called contact dermatitis, which includes symptoms such as swelling, rashes, or pain.
Most of the time, these skin allergies are actually nickel allergies. Because pure silver is usually too soft to be made into jewelry, a small amount of nickel is mixed in to keep the silver firm and lustrous. When the nickel seeps out of the jewelry, it comes into contact with the skin and can cause an allergic reaction. By avoiding nickel substances and using alternative metals such as sterling silver, you should be able to wear silver jewelry with no skin problems.
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What To Do When Youre Allergic To Nickel
Now that you know what a nickel allergy is, the next step is eliminating most or all nickel-made items, jewelry, cookware, utensils, etc from your drawer, cupboards, and closet, and replacing them with non-nickel based alternatives, most of which are labeled as nickel-free or hypoallergenic, fortunately, we have done that work for you so you dont have to.
The staff member at TooAllergic.com has carried out extensive research and have put together a massive list of the best alternatives to nickel, this list will definitely help you eradicate a lot of nickel exposure in your daily routine as much as possible!
Before diving into this list, we HIGHLY recommend you buy a nickel test kit and use that a second 2-factor verification before you put it on your sensitive, delicate skin.
Like we previously mentioned earlier, a nickel-free doesnt have a 100% guarantee on the absence of nickel, but ofc that doesnt mean there are products which are labeled as nickel-free that arent legitly nickel-free, however in order to be 100% sure, the test kit is highly recommended.
Can Nickel Allergy Affect Areas That Are Not In Contact With Metal
This has been debated by dermatologists.
Some people develop intermittent or persistent eczema on their hands and feet. It is usually a blistering type of eczema, known as pompholyx or dyshidrotic hand dermatitis. Sometimes it is due to contact with metal items containing nickel, but often there is no obvious reason for it.
It has been suggested that in nickel allergic people pompholyx may be due to nickel in the diet. Unfortunately it is not possible to avoid ingesting nickel as it is present in most foodstuffs. A low-nickel diet is only rarely helpful.
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The Concept Of Low Nickel Diet
Nickel is a ubiquitous trace metal, and it is a fact that nickel cannot be completely avoided from diet however, the careful selection of food with relatively low nickel concentration can bring a reduction in the total dietary intake of nickel per day and thereby can minimize the risk for endogenous activation of immunocompetent cells in nickel sensitive individuals. This can influence the outcome of nickel dermatitis. Studies have confirmed the benefit of low nickel diet in the management of nickel eczema.
Fast Facts About Nickel Allergies:
- The medical community is unsure why people develop allergies to nickel.
- An increasing number of people in the United States are allergic to nickel.
- This allergy is more common in women than men.
- The allergy can appear at any age.
- The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid contact with products containing nickel.
- people who regularly handle cash
- people who work with metals
Anyone working in an industry that involves frequent exposure to nickel and other metals should notify their employer of an allergy.
It is also essential that people with nickel allergies inform their doctor before surgery.
There is no cure for an allergy to nickel. The best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergen.
Several medications can help to treat a rash that results from an allergic reaction. These medicines control inflammation and reduce the bodys histamine response.
Common medications include:
- oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone
- oral antihistamines, such as fexofenadine
Some home remedies may help to soothe and calm the skin. These include:
- calamine lotion
- hydrating body lotion
- cool, wet compresses
Seek advice from a doctor as soon as possible if treatments do not relieve symptoms or make them worse.
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