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What Does A Nickel Allergy Look Like

What Are The Symptoms Of Nickel Allergy

What does nickel metal look like?

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.

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

    What Is A Nickel Allergy

    A nickel allergy occurs when the bodys immune system views the nickel ions as foreign threats. Most of the time, the cells that make up your immune system will only fight off viruses, bacteria, and other toxic substances. In cases of metal hypersensitivity, the immune system rejects the metal substance and produces a variety of symptoms to combat it.

    Metals such as nickel, cobalt, copper, and chromium are usually the culprits of these allergic reactions. These metals are found in everyday items such as jewelry, watches, and coins. These metals are frequently mixed into silver to make the product stronger and more resistant to rust. For some silver jewelry, nickel is also used as the base metal.

    Patients who have autoimmune disorders are at a higher risk for metal hypersensitivity, because their immune system is in a constant state of activity. You are also more likely to develop a nickel allergy if your family members are allergic as well.

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    How Do You Test For Nickel Allergy At Home

    Test your metal items

    Use a cotton bud to rub gently observe the colour on the bud. If it remains clear, the item has no free nickel and will not cause dermatitis. If the cotton bud has stained pink, the item contains nickel and may cause dermatitis if it touches the skin of someone allergic to nickel.

    Why You Might Want To Choose Platinum For Your Jewelry

    Nickel Allergy Symptoms

    Double Diamond Rowed Platinum Wedding Band

    Platinum is hypoallergenic, Unlike white gold and traditional yellow gold, platinum is a strong and durable metal, which means it doesnt need to be mixed with other alloys to strengthen it.

    Platinum is a more difficult metal for jewelers to work with and that factor will be added into the cost of pieces of platinum jewelry. Platinum will feel heavier on the finger because it is denser and it does weigh more than gold.

    For these reasons, platinum is much more expensive than yellow gold or white gold jewelry. It is hypoallergenic, which means that consumers with nickel allergies shouldnt have to worry about an allergic reaction.

    When considering whether to choose palladium white gold or platinum for your ring, check out my post “White Gold vs. Platinum for Wedding Rings What’s the Difference?”

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    Can A Person Be Allergic To Silver

    Silver is a beautiful, precious metal, which is always relevant and widely used in various industries. Probably everyone is in everyday life and occasionally faced with this metal even if they dont wear jewelry. Decorations, cutlery, utensils, decorating elements can be found on the list for a long time since the popularity of this metal is high.

    Allergies, especially in people prone to this type of reaction, can cause anything. Unfortunately, sterling and oxidized silver is no exception and can cause an allergy.

    In recent years, the number of people with problems of this kind has increased significantly. The reason for this is the deterioration in the quality of silverware, which is caused by the poor faith of the manufacturers. In order to save money on the material, more and more alloys are added to the production of the product. These are additional impurities, many times more common than silver itself, which are irritants that the body perceives as an allergen.

    Among the alloys used in the production of silver products are zinc, nickel, platinum, copper, lead, and even aluminum.

    The most common additional alloy is nickel. Because silver is soft enough, nickel gives the product the desired strength as well as extra shine. Often nickel, along with other additional metals, is a dermatitis allergen.

    It should be noted that allergies can appear after a while. Accumulation of allergens can occur gradually, with regular wearing of silver supplements.

    Swimmers Beware Of Nickel’s Achilles Heel

    Nickel is sensitive to the chlorine in hot tubs and pools, so if you spend much time in either of these, then your nickel white-gold prongs will need to be repaired more frequently then your palladium white gold prongs. By sensitive, I mean that chlorine can dissolve nickel. If you swim regularly in chlorinated pools your white gold ring with nickel alloy can develop micro holes weakening your ring.

    You can also get an all palladium ring – almost 95% purity. Like platinum, it has more density.

    There is also the platinum route. Platinum is one of the few precious metals that can be made into jewelry with such a high purity of metal in fact, most platinum jewelry is made up of 90% to 95% pure platinum. Nickel is not used to alloy platinum for jewelry making.

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    Get Tested For Allergies At Walk

    At Walk-in Dermatology, our team of highly experienced medical professionals and board-certified dermatologists will diagnose and treat your skin allergies. Our doctors specialize in both medical and cosmetic dermatology, so we can help your skin to look and feel its best. Book an appointment with us.

    It Turned Out I Was Touching A Lot Of Things That Contained Nickel

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    I discovered this thanks to a nifty liquid solution called Nickel Alert. You place a few drops on a cotton swab, rub the object in question, and wait: If the swab turns pink, that object contains some amount of nickel. Using the solution I found nickel in my apartment deadbolt, pens, makeup brushes, boot zippers, kitchen utensils, keys, eyeglasses, and several door handles at my office. Most importantly, I found it in my work keyboard, upon which I was dutifully typing for 8 or 9 hours every weekday.

    Many of these predicaments had easy solutions: I got a plastic keyboard and nickel-free glasses and did my best to cover nickel objects around my home with an attractive layer of tape.

    Outside my home environment, avoiding nickel can be tricky. Every zipper or button on clothes must be covertly tested in the dressing room before purchase. Every new set of restaurant silverware might revive that rash around my mouth. Every trip to the laundromat requires a few rounds of hand-washing to make sure there are no traces of nickel left on my hands to transfer back to my face.

    I try my best to steer clear of unfamiliar doorknobs, too, even though it’s not exactly necessary As a result I’ve gotten quite good at opening doors with my hips/elbows/some combination thereof.

    Yeah, maybe the doorknob avoidance is overkill. But it’s a whole lot better than the rash that was so itchy I couldn’t focus at work. I’d rather play it extra safe.

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    Signs Of An Allergic Reaction

    A nickel allergy often occurs after prolonged exposure and only in the area of the skin the nickel came into contact with. Symptoms of contact dermatitis will begin to appear within 24 to 48 hours and can last for 2 to 4 weeks. Common signs of an allergic reaction include:

    • Rashes
    • Dry patches that resemble a burn
    • Blisters and draining fluid
    • Bluish-green discoloration

    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.

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    My Wedding Band Contains Nickel And I Just Became Allergic

    The Wall Street Journal article “Till Dermatitis Do Us Part” is the source of some of this information.

    It is really bad to learn that you have a nickel allergy. The allergic reaction may be able to be remedied by your trusty jeweler! In order to avoid this allergic reaction it is possible to have the inside of your wedding band rhodium plated.

    This creates a neutral metal barrier so you can keep wearing your lovely ring! It will have to be reapplied maybe once every few years.

    Another remedy is to coat your jewelry with clear nail polish. This will form a temporary barrier. One home remedy suggest boiling the jewelry in vinegar and peroxide as this may remove nickel salts from the surface, but this fix will only last until contact with your skin causes a chemical stimulation for the nickel salts to form.

    How Is Contact Dermatitis Managed Or Treated

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    Treatment for both types of contact dermatitis is the same. Even with treatment, it can take several weeks for the rash to go away. Treatments include:

    • Avoidance: If you can figure out whats causing the rash, take steps to avoid it or minimize exposure.
    • Anti-itch creams:Corticosteroid creams can ease inflammation and itching.
    • Oral steroids: Prednisone, a type of steroid, can relieve rash symptoms that dont respond to antihistamines or other treatments.
    • Immunosuppressive medications: In severe cases, where repeated bouts of oral steroids are needed.

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    When Should I See A Dermatologist For A Metal Allergy

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    Your favorite ring leaves a rash around your finger. Your earlobes turn red when you wear a pair of earrings.

    As many as 10 to 15 percent of Americans suffer from a metal allergy. For these people, exposure to common metals, such as nickel, produces an allergic reaction. Many common items can bring about a metal allergy outbreak including cellphones, belt buckles, car keys, zippers, and coins

    You may notice symptoms such as itchiness, dry patches, and blistery rashes. These are signs that your bodys immune system is overreacting to metal exposure.

    How Do You Know If You Have Sensitive Skin What Is A Jewelry Allergy

    Unfortunately, if your Girl is wearing jewelry and her skin is getting red around it or if she is getting a bumpy or blistery rash it almost certainly means that she has a skin allergy to metal alloys in that specific piece of jewelry. Heres whats happening to your body and what you can do about it.

    Most metals are a blend of various metal alloys. Even 14k Gold is not 100% gold! If it were, it would be way too soft to keep its shape when we wear it. People can develop jewelry allergies and sensitivities to one or more of the metals in the jewelry that touches our skin. This allergic reaction is even more pronounced with piercings, specifically earrings that go through an ear piercing. This heightened sensitivity to the metal is caused by the metal going through the skin , causing a stronger reaction. You will usually see symptoms 12-48 hours after you come into contact with nickel. For example, you might see itching, redness, rash, or swelling of the skin. Skin can become red and warm and filled with pus. Once a nickel allergy develops, it often lasts your whole life. The most important thing you can do to avoid sensitivity is to avoid contact with the object that includes nickel.

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    Is Copper Jewelry Hypoallergenic

    Copper is a very weak sensitizer as compared with other metal compounds and rarely causes an allergy. However, in a few and selected cases, copper can result in clinically relevant allergic reactions.

    Copper is often hypoallergenic, but it is a soft, extra-pliable metal so, same as with silver and other metals, some crafters reinforce it with a little nickel metal alloy, which can cause an allergic reaction.

    Can You Get Your Ears Pierced If You Have Sensitive Skin

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    Girls with sensitive skin can generally tolerate ear piercing provided that the piercing is professionally done with the appropriate tools and earrings. When you book a piercing with Rowan, a Registered Nurse will perform the piercing with the highest quality materials. All Rowan in-home ear piercings for infants and children use highest quality medical grade-titanium or medical grade plastic piercing studs, which are considered safe for those with allergies or sensitivities. If you get your ears pierced to make sure to have it done with sterile, surgical-grade stainless steel, medical grade titanium, plastic or 14k+ yellow gold. We recommend that you avoid white gold for ear piercing or as a gift for newly pierced ears, as it often contains nickel.

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    How To Prevent Jewelry Allergy Rash

    To know how to avoid a jewelry allergy, you must first know if you have an allergy and for that you should know some of the possible symptoms and when they usually occur.

    In the case of a jewelry allergy, the symptoms can appear within minutes and up to a day after contact with the jewelry and can last for hours or days.

    In most cases not wearing jewelry will stop the itching and rash. This is the easiest way to protect against future reactions. The treatment is effective only if you stop any contact with the jewelry. If you happen to be in contact with jewelry, immediately wash the exposed area with soap and water.

    Nickel free earrings and necklace probably wont cause an allergy so make sure you wear jewelry without nickel.

    Another solution to prevent jewelry allergy is the use of jewelry shield or nickel guard. Simply brush the transparent jewelry shield onto jewelry and metal accessories to create an invisible shield that protects sensitive skin. One application will last about 2-3 months. Shields sensitive skin from metallic irritation and prevents skin discoloration.

    Poison Ivy Poison Oak And Poison Sumac

    The common weed poison ivy contains an oil, called urushiol, that can cause an allergic reaction. Urushiol is also found in poison oak and poison sumac, which grow as bushes or small trees. Surprisingly, not everyone is allergic to urushiol. For those who are, symptoms of poison ivy rash include itchy skin, redness, hives, and blisters. Urushiol is sticky, so you can get a rash from touching something that came in contact with it your pets fur, your shoes, or firewood, for example. You can experience a poison ivy allergy only if you are exposed to urushiol the resulting rashes are not contagious. These rashes can usually be treated at home by washing the affected area with cool water and applying nonprescription antihistamines and calamine lotion. Severe cases may require a visit to the doctor.

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    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.

    How Can I Prevent Contact Dermatitis

    9ct gold allergy

    Avoiding known allergens and irritants is the best way to prevent contact dermatitis. But you cant always stay away from every possible irritant. These steps can help:

    • Choose fragrance-free moisturizers.
    • Use mild, fragrance and dye-free soaps and cleansers.
    • Wash immediately after coming into contact with a known allergen or irritant.

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    What Does Nickel Allergy Look Like

    Originally published on October 10, 2007

    Nickel allergy is a very common form of Allergic Contact Dermatitis . A rash develops after contact with nickel and may have the following characteristics: redness, itching, swelling, hives, and/or cracks.

    The most common sites for nickel allergy are the earlobes, neck, and wrist where metal touches the skin. In children, one of the most common signs of nickel allergy is a rash on the central abdomen from snaps/buttons. For more information on nickel allergy visit Nickel Allergy 101 Causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention.


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