Could you have an allergy to nickel plated jewelry? Every day, people have mysterious itchy rashes and skin irritations. Oftentimes, people suddenly find these irritations and don’t know what caused them. Rashes can be the result of numerous things. According to some experts, nickel plated jewelry allergies are very common; this allergy is also very easy to prevent.
If you are having problems with skin rashes, itching, swelling, redness and burning in the spots where jewelry has been worn, you might have an allergy to nickel plated jewelry. Nickel is frequently used in jewelry, because it is cheap and very strong. It is quite surprising that about 15 percent of the population have allergies to nickel plated jewelry.
If you have had your ears or any other part of your body pierced recently, and now you are having allergic symptoms, you may suspect that you have an allergy to nickel. White gold and yellow gold contain some nickel to make the metal strong; therefore, if you are allergic to nickel, you may also have an allergic reaction to these. Sterling silver is also coated with nickel so that it stays bright and shiny. Nickel is regularly used for silver jewelry as well.
If you have a skin rash after having contact with an allergy making substance, such as nickel, doctors call it contact allergic dermatitis. Do not ignore symptoms of contact allergic dermatitis in areas where your jewelry touches your skin, because the area/s could incur health complications. Individuals having contact allergic dermatitis can have very itchy rashes in any part of the body, spreading out from the area of origin. If you get contact allergic dermatitis on your hands or feet it can be difficult to execute your daily work routines with ease.
Personal experience with a nickel allergy
I used to wear watches, rings and earrings that broke me out. A few years ago my ears would itch and I would rub and scratch at my ears. The irritation spread from my ear piercings and spread out over my whole ear. At the same time my ring caused a severe allergic reaction on my finger that spread out over a 3 inch span on my finger and hand. I had to go to my doctor and I was treated for contact allergic dermatitis and told never to wear nickel plated jewelry.
Nickel allergies are quite easy to verify. If your jewelry is causing you to have itching and rashes, stop wearing the jewelry a few days for the rash to go away. Your dermatologist can give you a patch test. The patch test is done by using common allergens. The doctor puts just a little bit on a patch of skin to observe if there is a reaction. It may take up to 24 hours or more before you have an allergic response. If treatment is needed, your doctor can prescribe steroid creams, oral antihistamines and/or other types of medications.
Sometimes people who have been wearing the same jewelry for years suddenly find they are now allergic to those pieces. The reason behind this latent allergic response isn’t clearly understood. It is thought that a change in the body’s chemistry due to stress and other reasons could be the cause this. To see some photos of contact allergic dermatitis, click here.
Dermatologic Disease Database