7 Ways To Avoid Nickel Allergy

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You may be allergic to nickel if your earlobes itch or your jewellery causes a rash around your neck.


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 17 Dec 2021.

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7 Ways To Avoid Nickel Allergy

You may be allergic to nickel if your earlobes itch or your jewellery causes a rash around your neck.

Nickel is utilised in various products, including jewellery, mobile phones, coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, belt buckles, and keys, making it one of the most common skin allergens.

Symptoms

Symptoms typically appear 12 to 48 hours after coming into contact with nickel.

Itching, redness, rash, dry spots, and swelling of the skin are all possible symptoms. Blisters may develop as a result. They may shatter and leave crusts and scales behind.

Your skin may grow darker, leathery, and cracked if left untreated. The rash is most likely limited to the area of your skin that was in direct touch with the nickel.

The rash may spread in severe instances. Sweating may exacerbate the problem.

Your skin will get hotter, redder, and packed with pus if it becomes infected. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Test and Treatments

By checking at your skin and asking whether you’ve handled any metals, your doctor can usually identify a nickel allergy.

A dermatologist may also perform a skin patch test on you. Tiny amounts of nickel and other allergies will be applied to the skin of your upper back and covered with patches. The patches must be worn for at least 48 hours. If you’re sensitive to nickel, your skin will most likely react within that time frame. More testing may be required in certain cases.

When a nickel allergy develops, it may persist for the rest of your life. There are, nevertheless, methods to alleviate your discomfort.

Avoiding touch with things that may trigger a response is an essential thing you can do. A hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine tablets from the pharmacy may assist with minor symptoms.

Your doctor may give a steroid cream or an immune system medication if your symptoms are severe. If your symptoms are severe, you may also be given oral steroids and antihistamine tablets as part of your treatment.

If your skin is damaged or blistered, remove any metal jewellery immediately and get care from your doctor to prevent infection.

Test and Treatments

By checking at your skin and asking whether you’ve handled anything metal, your doctor can usually identify a nickel allergy.

A dermatologist may also perform a skin patch test on you. Tiny amounts of nickel and other allergies will be applied to the skin of your upper back and covered with patches. The patches must be worn for at least 48 hours. If you’re sensitive to nickel, your skin will most likely react within that time frame. More testing may be required in certain instances.

When a nickel allergy develops, it may persist for the rest of your life. There are, nevertheless, methods to alleviate your discomfort.

Avoiding touch with things that may trigger a response is an essential thing you can do. A hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine tablets from the pharmacy may assist with minor symptoms.

Your doctor may give a steroid cream or an immune system medication if your symptoms are severe. If your symptoms are severe, you may also be given oral steroids and antihistamine tablets as part of your treatment.

If your skin is damaged or blistered, remove any metal jewellery immediately and get care from your doctor to prevent infection.

7 Ways to Avoid Nickel

  1. If you have your ears or other body parts pierced or tattooed, be sure the tools used are sterile, surgical-grade stainless steel. Piercing guns should be avoided since they may contain nickel, which may cause bacterial infections.
  2. Choose surgical-grade stainless steel or 14-, 18-, or 24-karat yellow gold for your jewellery. Nickel may be present in white gold. Pure sterling silver, copper, platinum, and titanium are among the nickel-free metals. It’s OK to use polycarbonate plastic. If you must wear nickel-containing earrings, use plastic earring stud covers.
  3. Purchase titanium or polycarbonate eyeglass frames.
  4. Avoid wearing clothing with plastic buttons, snaps, rivets, or fasteners, as well as bras and other undergarments with plastic-coated or painted metal fasteners. If your dress contains nickel, replace them with plastic or plastic-coated goods.
  5. Wear leather, fabric, or plastic, watch bands.
  6. If you have an allergic response to a nice piece of jewellery you wear every day, such as a wedding ring, contact a jeweller about having it plated with a less-allergenic metal, such as platinum.
  7. If you’re very sensitive to nickel, you should avoid foods high in nickel, such as mixed nuts and chocolate.

Sources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/nickel-jewelry-allergy 
  2. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: “Nickel Allergy."
  3. Baylor College of Medicine: “Nickel Allergies Are Itching to Come out of Hiding."
  4. University of Alabama at Birmingham Medicine: “Allergic Contact Dermatitis."
  5. American Academy of Dermatology: “Allergic Contact Rashes."
  6. Mayo Clinic: "Nickel allergy."
  7. Indian Journal of Dermatology: “Low Nickel Diet In Dermatology." 2013, May-June.

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