Does that beautiful new pair of earring make your earlobes itch like crazy earrings? How about that lovely goo that seems to be oozing from them. How about that great necklace you picked up for you niece, with the wonderfully sexy picture of One Direction, that’s leaving a rash around her neck? Odds are you, or they may have a nickel allergy. Believe it or not you’re not alone. Allergies to nickel is one of the most common skin allergies around. Mostly because nickel is not only found in the coin in your pocket, but in almost everything from cell phones, eye glass frames, and even zippers.
Symptoms of nickel allergy usually show 6 to 24 hours after exposure. You may have itching, redness, rash, dry patches, and swelling of the skin, sometimes followed by blisters. In some cases the blister burst, leaving crusts and scales. [Source] I know sounds bad, but left untreated, the problem only worsen. The skin may exhibit a dark, cracked leather appearance. This is usually from the contact of your skin with nickel. In real serious cases, the rash may spread. Sweating can make it worst.
A doctor can usually diagnosis a nickel allergy by just looking at it. A specialist may conduct a skin patch test. Once contracted, a allergy to nickel will last your entire life. There is relief. For one, don’t wear any nickel base product—STAY AWAY FROM NICKEL! Yeah I know those earrings are cute, but think of the alternative. Milder symptoms can be treated with a hydrocortisone cream and antihistamine pills you can buy at the drug store may help. For more severe symptoms, you doctor may prescribe a steroid cream, and steroid or antihistamine pills.
Here are tips to avoid a nickel allergy: [Source]
- If you have your ears or other body parts pierced or tattooed, have it done with sterile, surgical-grade stainless steel instruments. It’s a good idea to avoid piercing guns, as they may contain nickel and can cause bacterial infections.
- Make sure your jewelry is made of surgical-grade stainless steel or either 14-, 18- or 24-karat yellow gold. White gold may contain nickel. Other nickel-free metals include pure sterling silver, copper, platinum, and titanium. Polycarbonate plastic is okay. Avon jewelry is 100% nickel-free. If you must wear earrings that contain nickel, add plastic covers made specifically for earring studs.
- Buy eyeglass frames that are nickel-free, made instead of titanium or plastic.
- Buy clothes, including bras and other underthings, with buttons, snaps, rivets, or fasteners that are made of plastic or are plastic-coated or painted metal. If your clothes have nickel items, switch to plastic or plastic coated.
- Wear watchbands made of leather, cloth, or plastic.
- If a good piece of jewelry that you wear daily — such as a wedding ring — causes a reaction, ask a jeweler about having it plated in a less allergic metal, such as platinum.
- If you are extremely sensitive to nickel, you may also need to avoid nickel-rich foods such as fish and chocolate.
So, that’s the skinny on nickel. Just remember, when you’re out there shopping to make wise choices.
That jewelry might be just to die for, but is it really?
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