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What you need to know about an Allergy to Nickel

Help I Am Allergic To Nickel. Allergies Type 4 is also called cell-mediated or delayed allergies. When T-cells become activated and result in an inflammation of the effected area. It usually develops with repeated exposure to some substance in the environment. All of a sudden you may develop a hypersensitivity to all of your jewelry. Symptoms may include a rash, itching, swelling, blistering, and eczema.

It is very unlikely that you are allergic to precious metals found in jewelry. You are more likely to have developed an Nickel Allergy. More specifically the allergy is not caused by the nickel itself but by the combination of your perspiration and nickel salts. If your jewelry shows any type of corrosion or pitting then coating the piece of jewelry with clear finger nail polish where it comes into contact with the skin may help. If finger nail polish is used then you will need to recoat very often because finger nail polish wares off easily. It would be better to coat the item with some type of long lasting plastic compound. See you jeweler for recommendations.

Allergic to nickel cases have been reported by dermatologists since the introduction of cheap fancy jewelry. Nine carat gold and white gold both contain nickel, 12 carat or higher should be ok. Once you have developed an allergy to nickel it will often remain for the rest of your life. 34 to 65 percent of the population that is allergic to nickel is also allergic to platinum.

Nickel is frequently added to gold because it is inexpensive and hard. Gold in itself is soft and will lose its shape under pressure so nickel is added to toughen it up. Better quality products use palladium, which has excellent properties but is also more expensive to use.

Other common every day items that contain nickel and cause you to develop contact dermatitis are metal zippers, hair-pins, buttons, lipstick holders, razors, keys pocket knives, kitchen utensils, scissors, silver coins, paper clips.

Your dermatologist or pharmacist can supply you with a nickel-testing kit. The test contains a bottle of dimethylglyoxime and a bottle of ammonium hydroxide. Put a drop from each bottle the jewelry or item in question, the chemicals will not harm your jewelry, and then rub it with a cotton swab. If the swab turns pink then the item being tested contains nickel and may cause problems if worn if you have Nickel Allergy.

Always consult your doctor before using this information.

This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.