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How To Treat Nickel Allergy

Lifestyle And Home Remedies

How I Deal With My Nickel Allergy

You may use some of the following treatments at home to treat contact dermatitis due to nickel allergy. If these treatments don’t help or the rash worsens, contact your doctor. Home remedies include the following:

  • Use soothing lotions, such as calamine lotion, which may ease itching.
  • Moisturize regularly. Your skin has a natural barrier that’s disrupted when it reacts to nickel and other allergens. Using emollient creams or lotions, such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil, could reduce your need for topical corticosteroids.
  • Apply wet compresses, which can help dry blisters and relieve itching. Soak a clean cloth in tap water or Burow’s solution, an over-the-counter medication containing aluminum acetate.

Avoid certain over-the-counter ointments, such as antibiotic creams, which may contain ingredients particularly neomycin that can worsen an allergic reaction.

Nickel Allergy: How To Avoid Exposure And Reduce Symptoms

Eczema or psoriasis? Managing eczema in summertimeNickel allergySevere atopic dermatitis

Nickel allergy: How to avoid exposure and reduce symptoms

If you have a nickel allergy, the best way to avoid symptoms is to avoid objects containing nickel. To avoid exposure and reduce symptoms, board-certified dermatologists recommend following these tips.

Nickel is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis: a skin rash or irritation caused by touching an allergen. In fact, it is estimated that more than 18 percent of people in North America are allergic to nickel, including 11 million children in the U.S.

If you have a nickel allergy, the best way to avoid symptoms is to avoid objects containing nickel. However, this can be challenging, since nickel is present in many common household items.

To avoid exposure and reduce symptoms, dermatologists recommend the following tips:

  • Choose jewelry carefully. Its common for a nickel allergy to develop from wearing jewelry containing nickel. Earrings, earring backs and watches are some of the biggest culprits however necklaces, rings and bracelets containing nickel can also trigger symptoms. To avoid exposure, only wear jewelry that is nickel-free, hypoallergenic, or made from metals such as surgical-grade stainless steel, 18-, 22-, or 24-karat yellow gold, pure sterling silver, or platinum. In addition, wear watchbands made of leather, cloth or plastic.

  • All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

    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.

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    Moving To An Allergy Patch Test

    An open application test may not be enough to confirm the nickel allergy. So we can perform an allergy patch test. Patch testing is a simple procedure where we apply several potential allergens to your skin for a short period. If your skin reacts to nickel or other allergies, we can confirm that you have a nickel allergy.

    Avoid These Things That May Contain Nickel

    Nickel Allergy

    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.

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    Diagnosed By An Immunologist: Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome

    In an act of desperation, I went to an immunologist. She looked at my nickel rash, which at that time was not only on my hand , but also on my eyelids, inner elbows, behind my knees and my buttocks. I shared with her my food diary, my food sensitivity testing and asked for every immunological test under the sun to be run.

    She listened carefully to me. She took notes. After her inspection, she returned with a packet labeled: Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome and explained to me that I had to further limit what I ate.

    Would You Believe That Keys Jewelry Zippers Buttons Eyeglasses Pens Kitchen Utensils Coins Tools Computers Door Knobs Food And Even Some Makeup Can Contain Nickel

    That little factoid generally wont come up unless you or a loved one has a nickel allergy, which is a leading cause of allergic contact dermatitis.

    This allergic reaction typically occurs where the nickel touched your skin but occasionally shows up elsewhere. Symptoms develop within two days of the nickel contact and can include:

    • Rash
    • Dry skin patches
    • Blisters that may crust over

    If you experience severe symptoms such as warm skin, pain, increased redness, or pus-filled areas, you must take off anything that could be causing the reaction and visit an allergist quickly to prevent or treat an infection.

    People frequently report that their nickel allergy came out of the blue. A jewelry piece they wore for years suddenly caused discomfort, only to find out they now have an allergy. Unfortunately, this allergy tends to stick around for life once it develops.

    An allergist can perform a skin patch test to ensure you are correctly diagnosed. Youll have tiny amounts of nickel and other potential allergens placed on your back, where they will stay for 48-72 hours. The doctor will then examine each area for redness or irritation, which can indicate an allergy.

    Many home remedies and medications can help you fight contact dermatitis under the guidance of your allergist. Over-the-counter and prescription options include hydrocortisone cream, antihistamines, and steroids.

  • Plastic or titanium eyeglass frames are fashionable alternatives that do not contain nickel.
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    Thresholds For Nickel Allergy

    Nickel has been found to be a weak to moderate allergen in animal experiments,, and a moderate allergen in humans, which contrasts with the high prevalence of nickel allergy in the general population. Studies on nickel allergy have shown that various internal and external factors are important in the complex pathogenesis, and many questions remain.

    Choose A Piercing Studio Carefully

    Do you have a nickel allergy affecting your eczema?

    Before getting a piercing, check to be sure the studio uses sterile, nickel-free or surgical-grade stainless steel needles in sealed packages. If the studio uses a piercing gun, check to see if the part that touches the person getting pierced isn’t used on other customers. Check that the studio only sells hypoallergenic jewelry and can provide documentation of metal content of the products for sale.

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    Binding Agents And Barrier Creams

    It is known that some topical and oral substances can chemically bind nickel and prevent nickel ACD. These substances promote chelation of nickel, and thus prevent its antigenic properties they are usually used in combination with others treatments, such as topical steroids. Barrier creams act as an invisible glove, protecting the skin from environmental allergens.

    The most utilized binding agent is ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid , which can be included at a 15% concentration in a cream in association with topical steroids. Memon showed that a cream containing 15% ETDA and 1% hydrocortisone was able to reduce the allergic reactions to patch tests with 20 pence coins in 10 of 26 nickel-sensitive subjects challenged for 2 days.

    Wöhrl demonstrated the preventive effect of 10% diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid in an oil-in-water emulsion in nickel-sensitized patients.

    Another binding agent is 5-chloro-7-iodoquinolin-8-ol , which was able of prevent allergic reaction in 2 days, in a cream containing clioquinol 3% and hydrocortisone 1%. Clioquinol is commercially available in association with hydrocortisone or flumethasone.

    Preparations containing diphenythiocarbazone, diphenylglyoxime and tartaric acid have been investigated for their ability to detoxify NI2+ in vitro. The preparation with diphenylglyomime was shown to have a positive effect. Kolpakov demonstrated that a cream containing 1% dimethylglyoxime delayed but did not prevent the penetration of NI2+ .

    What Is The Best Treatment For Nickel Allergy

    Nickel is a common type of substance responsible for eliciting an allergic response in the form of skin changes commonly labeled as allergic contact dermatitis. The mechanism for it is when the body of the patient comes in contact with the nickel for the first time, which detects nickel as a foreign substance with antigenic properties. After this deduction, the body forms an immune response against the nickel antigen. This response is a primary immune response caused by innate immunity and tries to eliminate it.

    Since the response is nonspecific, it is a very mild form of an allergic reaction but at the same time, the body tries to develop the most specific antibodies against the nickel antigen and tries to keep it in memory of immune system with the help of the per cells. It is known as the phenomenon of sensitization.

    Once the body becomes sensitized to a particular antigen like nickel, it then forms a secondary immune response if the body is exposed to the same antigen again. When the immune system comes in contact with nickel again, this time the reaction is much more severe and prolonged in time because of preformed antibodies and their memory in the immune system.

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    How To Avoid Nickel:

    • The key to avoiding nickel is to identify it BEFORE your skin does.
    • All metal items suspected of containing nickel may be tested with a dimethylglyoxime test called Nickel Alert. Nickel Alert quickly, safely, and easily tests jewelry and other metal items for the presence of nickel.
    • Test your metal items frequently. Some metal items may be coated with a nickel free metal but have a nickel base layer. Once the coating has worn through, nickel may be detected. Even items that are labeled “nickel free” and “hypoallergenic” by other companies may have nickel in the base metal.
    • To protect your skin from nickel contact, apply Nickel Guard as a barrier between items containing nickel and your skin.

    What Are Tips For Wearing Jewelry With A Nickel Allergy

    Nickel Allergy: Causes, Picture, Symptoms, and Treatment

    It is important to avoid wearing jewelry and other accessories that contain metal when you have an allergy to nickel. We understand that is way easier said than done! Any gold jewelry less than 24k contains a mixture of metals and plated gold jewelry contains nickel alloy underneath making it very hard to avoid. Understanding what your jewelry is made out of will be key to helping you.

    Try finding jewelry that is made out of sterling silver, platinum ,and stainless steel or creating a barrier for your sink. This will reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and make it possible for you to wear your favorite pieces of jewelry. A way you can do this is by applying a thin layer of clear nail polish to the part of the jewelry that will touch your skin. It will also be important to consult with your dermatologist to find what will work the best for you.

    The Diamond Reserve has jewelry for all types of skin, give us a call at 303.385.8449 or

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    Home Remedies For Nickel Allergy: Causes Symptoms & Treatment

    Nickel allergy is one of the most common metal allergies. It is because of its wide variety of uses in many articles and metal plating. Nickel allergy is a common cause of contact dermatitis. Articles and substances containing nickel when come in contact with skin can trigger localized allergic reaction on skin in the form of eczema. Repeated and prolonged exposure to nickel increases risk of allergic reaction to nickel.

    Nickel is present in many jewelry articles such as earrings, metal wrist straps, jewelry chains, zips and button of clothes etc. Nickel allergy can occur in adults as well as children.

    Once you are allergic to nickel, you will always remain allergic to this metal. However, there are many home remedies and treatment measures to alleviate the symptoms. If you are allergic to nickel, the best option is to prevent the second episode by avoiding articles and substances containing nickel.

    How Can An Allergic Reaction To Nickel Be Prevented

    While the allergy itself cant be prevented, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction to nickel is to avoid all objects containing it. Always check with the manufacturer, retailer, or label to find out if an item is made of or contains nickel before you buy or use it.

    Nickel is also present in a surprisingly large number of foods and food products, including:

    • black tea
    • soy milk and chocolate milk
    • chocolate and cocoa powders
    • certain canned and processed foods, including meat and fish
    • certain grains, including:
    • soy products, such as tofu
    • certain fruits, including:

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    How Do You Treat An Allergic Reaction To Jewelry

    Once you notice your allergic reaction to jewelry you are going to want to remove the jewelry immediately. We are not saying you have to stop wearing your favorite piece of jewelry forever just during certain occasions. Removing jewelry regularly like when you are showering, working out, or sleeping. Taking them off at these times gives your skin a break and reduces wear on your jewelry.

    Another way to treat an allergic reaction is to clean and dry the piece of jewelry due to moisture and bacteria being trapped which can often lead to skin irritation. Cleaning your jewelry will help reduce the risk to an allergic reaction especially for wider rings or stacking jewelry. Make sure your jewelry is completely dry before putting it back on. While your jewelry is off it is helpful to use calming lotions on the affected areas.

    Factors Determining The Risk Of Nickel Allergy And Allergic Nickel Dermatitis

    Nickel allergy nickel allergic reactions

    The accumulated nickel skin dose is recognized as the major factor that determines the risk of nickel allergy and allergic nickel dermatitis., The elicitation threshold for accumulated repeated nickel exposures corresponds to one higher single dose. Other essential factors are the type of exposure , the skin status , the skin area, the bioavailability in the skin, the duration, previous dermatitis, and combined exposure with irritants.

    In general, the studied safe limit of metallic items placed onto the skin is higher than that for exposure from cosmetics., Furthermore, the sensitization and elicitation threshold for a skin-penetrating exposure is thought to be lower, including after healing of the skin., Tolerated systemic exposure differs, and there are regional differences in skin penetration.

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    Sources Of Nickel Exposure

    Nickel is ubiquitous in our environment, and humans will inevitably continue to be exposed to nickel. Topical skin nickel exposure occurs from metallic items, household products, and cosmetics, whereas systemic exposure is possible from food, water, surgical implants, and dental materials. Sources of nickel allergy have shifted over time as a result of industrialization, changes in fashion, and implementation of regulations.

    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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    Take Care Of Your Skin At Home

    With or without the skin reaction, taking care of your skin is one of the most effective ways to treat your flare-up. For starters, make sure use a moisturizer thats fragrance-free, paraben-free, and contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid. These creams can help restore the epidermal barrier damaged by the rash. If the itching continues, use a wet compress.

    Nickel Allergy: Dermatologists Share Tips To Avoid Exposure And Reduce Symptoms

    What Is The Best Treatment For Nickel Allergy?

    Avoid foods containing nickel if you are extremely sensitive to nickel.

    If your clothing contains items made of nickel, you can create a barrier between these items and your skin by coating the items with clear nail polish.

    Newswise SCHAUMBURG, Ill. According to board-certified dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology, nickel is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis: a skin rash or irritation caused by touching an allergen. In fact, it is estimated that more than 18 percent of people in North America are allergic to nickel, including 11 million children in the U.S., making it a widespread public health concern.

    If you have a nickel allergy, the best way to avoid symptoms is to avoid objects containing nickel, said board-certified dermatologist Jenny Eileen Murase, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of California San Francisco Medical Center. However, this can be challenging, since nickel is present in many common household items.

    To avoid exposure and reduce symptoms, Dr. Murase recommends the following tips:

    Rashes caused by a nickel allergy are not life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable, said Dr. Murase. If you think you have an allergy, or if you have a rash that blisters, becomes infected, or comes and goes, see a board-certified dermatologist for the proper diagnosis.

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