Treating A Nickel Allergy
Many kinds of metal havenickel. Some of the most popular are sterling silver jewelry. The rash can beseen in people who are more sensitive to the nickel. Just like any other kindof rash, this rash is also itchy and very discomfortable. Unfortunately, justlike with any other allergy, there is no possible in cure. You can only try toavoid contact with this element.
What Are The Things That Put You At Risk
Nickel can be found in jewellery, coins, electronic gadgets, wristwatch, zips, belt buckles, bra hooks and detergents, to name but a few items.
You are at risk of nickel allergy if:
Pearls And Other Issues
As with other allergic contact dermatitides, identification of nickel allergy can be challenging. It may be helpful for patients to create a list of daily exposures, including soaps, medications, lotions, etc., starting with the most recent additions. Unfortunately, often an underlying cause of symptoms is never identified. Nickel allergy is likely one of the more identifiable causes as it tends to be more localized to common areas of exposure – low midline abdomen due to belt buckles, wrists due to watches, and ears due to earrings.
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Consider These Risk Factors
There are some cases where you are more likely to develop a nickel allergy. Metalworkers, jewelers, and those in contact with nickel and other metals can develop contact dermatitis. We also see nickel allergies in patients with several piercings or those who tend to wear lots of jewelry. If someone in your family has a nickel allergy or is allergic to other metals, youre more likely to develop the condition. If you see a sudden rash, try to retrace your steps to an occasion where you touched or interacted with stainless steel, jewelry, or other metals.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
You may use some of the following treatments at home to treat contact dermatitis due to nickel allergy. If these treatments don’t help or the rash worsens, contact your doctor. Home remedies include the following:
- Use soothing lotions, such as calamine lotion, which may ease itching.
- Moisturize regularly. Your skin has a natural barrier that’s disrupted when it reacts to nickel and other allergens. Using emollient creams or lotions, such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil, could reduce your need for topical corticosteroids.
- Apply wet compresses, which can help dry blisters and relieve itching. Soak a clean cloth in tap water or Burow’s solution, an over-the-counter medication containing aluminum acetate.
Avoid certain over-the-counter ointments, such as antibiotic creams, which may contain ingredients particularly neomycin that can worsen an allergic reaction.
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What You Can Do
- Write down a description of your symptoms, when they first appeared and whether they occur in a pattern.
- Make a list of any medications you take, including vitamins and dietary supplements.
- Prepare a list of questions.
Questions that you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What’s the most likely cause of my rash?
- What else might cause it?
- Is there a test that can confirm a nickel allergy? Do I need to prepare for this test?
- What are the treatments available for nickel allergy, and which do you recommend?
- What side effects can I expect from these treatments?
- Can I use over-the-counter medications to treat the condition?
Is Your Jewelry Causing Your Skin Harm
This is a scenario we encounter far too often. You find a beautiful necklace. It looks amazing on you. Then a few days later, a red, unsightly rash shows up on your skin. Upon a closer look, it looks like the same shape as that latest purchase. Chances are, what youre experiencing is a nickel allergy, and its is an excellent time to see a dermatologist ASAP. These types of allergies are typical and must be addressed to avoid future discomfort and flare-ups.
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Nickel Allergy Is Not A Disease It Cannot Be Treated But It Can Be Dealt With
Nickel allergy is an hypersensitivity to Nickel. It is quite common and it is not a disease! Considering Nickel allergy as a disease is a bit like considering being pregnant as a disease
It can range from being an annoyance to being quite invalidating though. This is because allergy to Nickel can be:
- The risk factor or root cause for specific diseases, typically allergic contact dermatitis or eczema
- An aggravating factor in several different types of eczema and dermatitis, for instance dyshidrotic eczema and atopic dermatitis
- Associated with other allergies, and therefore a contributor to broad multi-hypersensitivities
How Do I Prevent A Nickel Allergy
Nickel avoidance is the best means of preventing an adverse reaction. Here are some steps you can take to lessen your risk:
- Wear nickel-free jewelry
- Choose household items that dont contain nickel
- Buy clothing with zippers and other fasteners made of plastics or plastic-coated metals
- Avoid foods with trace amounts of nickel, including oatmeal, chocolate, nuts, and legumes such as peas, soybeans, and peanuts.
- Wrap cell phones and computers in protective covers
- Wash any part of your body that comes into contact with nickel
- Purchase a kit for testing the presence of nickel in objects that you use
There is no long-term fix for a nickel allergy. It is possible, however, to control nickel allergies, with a combination of symptom treatment and prevention.
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Initial Consultation And The Open Application Test
Before starting treatment, we will ask a series of questions that can pinpoint if there is indeed a nickel allergy. We need to know about your family history, previous rashes, your work environment, or any recent changes in your routine. Well also perform a physical exam to pinpoint the symptoms of a nickel allergy. Sometimes, the info is enough for us to confirm ACD.
If we believe that the nickel is in a product like a lotion or a sunscreen, well try an open application test. With this test, we will have the patient apply the product on a patch of skin to see if there is an adverse reaction. If the skin develops a rash, we can confirm the nickel allergy and start with treatment.
Treatment Of Nickel Allergy
Initially, the affected area should be thoroughly washed to remove any residue of the irritant that may remain on the skin. Diluted vinegar compresses are given to dry up blisters.
Cool compresses applied to affected areas may help relieve itching, swelling, and redness. Antihistamines may be used to improve allergy symptoms, including red, itchy and inflamed skin. Commonly used non-prescription antihistamines include Diphenhydramine, Chlorpheniramine and loratadine among others. Commonly used prescription medications include desloratadine, fexofenadine and cetirizine among others. Emollient creams also known to act frequently to relieve itch and dry skin.
Common vitamins and over the counter products such as Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Quercitin may be recommended to manage allergy symptoms. They are known to accelerate wound healing and to naturally soften the skin. Topical steroids may also be advised for this allergy. In severe cases, systemic steroids may be given to ease inflammation. Antibiotic creams or pills such as penicillin antibiotics may be administered for secondary infection.
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History And Clinical Examination
A detailed history should investigate possible source of exposure, including daily activities, environmental conditions, past and current occupations and manipulation of products. In children, it is important to examine and question their parents and careers.
Clinical features include localized primary eruptions or generalized secondary eruptions, which can be eczematous or not.
Primary eruptions are characterized by recurrent eczematous lesions on the sites of direct contact with the items that release nickel, such as earlobes , wrists , neck and umbilical region .54 The face and scalp may be involved from contact with cellular phones, piercing, and hair clasps.3,5557
In sensitized individuals, transcutaneous, inhalatory, intravenous or oral exposure to nickel can cause a systemic allergic contact dermatitis. Clinical features include involvement of previous exposed areas , as well as unexposed areas and general symptoms .
The maculopapular exanthema with flexural involvement presents as a symmetrical eruption of the neck, face, eyelids, elbow flexures and forearms, hands, inner thighs, anogenital regions, and may be generalized.58
Third Advice: Efficiently Manage The Symptoms
Since it is very difficult to avoid exposure to Nickel, you may also need to deal with the symptoms of Nickel allergy once you skin has been exposed.
To that end, you should, of course, preserve your skin from further contact with Nickel, using one of the approaches above.
And you should also extensively moisturise your skin: according to a study published by Mayo Clinic: your skin has a natural barrier that is disrupted when it reacts to Nickel and other allergens. Using emollient creams or lotion could reduce your need for topical corticosteroids.
And of course, the skincare products you use should have very clean compositions, i.e., be free from the many ingredients that are known to be risky for one’s skin, such as essential oils, formaldehyde releasers, common allergens etc. Unfortunately, such risky ingredients are found in most skincare available in the market…
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Nickel Allergy: How To Avoid Exposure And Reduce Symptoms
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
Multiple Sensitizations To Metals
Nickel allergy is frequently associated with reactivity to other metals, mainly chromium and cobalt, but whether this is a result of cross-reactivity or multiple sensitizations is still under debate.
Since metallic items often contain multiple metals, as in stainless steel , copper-nickel and nickel-silver multiple sensitization can easily occur. Besides, cross-reactivity requires chemical similarities that are not present in such cases.
Cross-challenge experiments carried out in guinea pigs to clarify simultaneous patch-test reactivity and possible cross-reactivity to metals , show that cross-reactivity is possibly involved in reactions to nickel sulfate-palladium chloride but not in reactions to nickel sulfate-cobalt chloride and nickel sulfate-potassium dichromate.4951
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Can A Nickel Allergy Be Cured
Once the immune system decides that nickel is harmful, you will always have a nickel allergy. That means anytime you come into contact with nickel, either through friction on your skin or ingested, youll have a flare-up. Unfortunately, there is no cure. What you can do is take some precautions and treatment to reduce the symptoms of ACD.
Your first step is to see a dermatologist immediately. At Eternal Dermatology, we are the premier facility for treating a nickel allergy in Columbia, MD, Howard County, and the DC Baltimore area. If you arent in the area, search nickel allergy near me or contact dermatitis near me for a list of dermatologists in your area who can help.
Choose A Piercing Studio Carefully
Before getting a piercing, check to be sure the studio uses sterile, nickel-free or surgical-grade stainless steel needles in sealed packages. If the studio uses a piercing gun, check to see if the part that touches the person getting pierced isn’t used on other customers. Check that the studio only sells hypoallergenic jewelry and can provide documentation of metal content of the products for sale.
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What Is The Best Treatment For Nickel Allergy
Nickel is a common type of substance responsible for eliciting an allergic response in the form of skin changes commonly labeled as allergic contact dermatitis. The mechanism for it is when the body of the patient comes in contact with the nickel for the first time, which detects nickel as a foreign substance with antigenic properties. After this deduction, the body forms an immune response against the nickel antigen. This response is a primary immune response caused by innate immunity and tries to eliminate it.
Since the response is nonspecific, it is a very mild form of an allergic reaction but at the same time, the body tries to develop the most specific antibodies against the nickel antigen and tries to keep it in memory of immune system with the help of the per cells. It is known as the phenomenon of sensitization.
Once the body becomes sensitized to a particular antigen like nickel, it then forms a secondary immune response if the body is exposed to the same antigen again. When the immune system comes in contact with nickel again, this time the reaction is much more severe and prolonged in time because of preformed antibodies and their memory in the immune system.
What Causes An Allergic Reaction To Nickel
The immune system is responsible for promoting chemical changes in the body that help fight off harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. People with allergies have an immune system that mistakes a typically harmless substance for an intruder.
The immune system begins to produce chemicals to ward off the substance. The immune system of someone with a nickel allergy is reacting to the object or food containing nickel. That reaction leads to various symptoms, including rashes and itching.
This adverse reaction may occur after the first exposure to nickel or after repeated and prolonged exposure.
The exact cause of a nickel allergy isnt known. However, researchers believe that the sensitivity to nickel may be genetic, that is, inherited from a relative.
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Moving To An Allergy Patch Test
An open application test may not be enough to confirm the nickel allergy. So we can perform an allergy patch test. Patch testing is a simple procedure where we apply several potential allergens to your skin for a short period. If your skin reacts to nickel or other allergies, we can confirm that you have a nickel allergy.
Avoid These Things That May Contain Nickel
One of the best ways to fight your nickel allergy is to avoid the things that contain nickel. In some cases, this may be easier said than done. However, youll run the risk of having more severe reactions with prolonged exposure. The allergy can bring discomfort, impact your social life, and can rack up your medical expenses in the long-run.
- Avoid stainless steel jewelry, piercings, and other items that contain nickel.
- Use cloth covers on zippers, clasps, and buttons that can cause unwanted reactions.
- Remove products in your home that are known to have nickel, including high-nickel foods.
- If you work with or around nickel, wear the appropriate protective gloves and clothing to reduce the risk of exposure.
- If you need advice, speak with your dermatologist.
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Finding Anallergy Patch Testnear Me
To get a patch test, contact your local dermatologist to confirm that they provide allergy testing. Your doctor will ask you to bring any household products, skincare products, or perfumes that you may suspect are behind the reaction. The doctor will place small samples of the products and over 30 other potential allergens, on small patches. These patches are then applied on several strips onto your back.
You will have to keep the patches applied for a few days, making sure to not get them wet. At the 48 hour mark, youll come back to your dermatologist to remove the patches. From there, the doctor will take note of any allergens that created an adverse reaction. You may have a follow-up appointment to confirm any allergies and to undergo treatment if necessary.
Jewelry And Consumer Products
Ear piercing is the most common cause of sensitization, and thus represents a strong risk factor for nickel allergy, even in men.3,6,19,20 About 81.5% of nickel positive patch-tested women have pierced ears.3
Nickel ACD occurs when metallic items, corroded by human sweat, saliva, and other body fluids, release free nickel ions that act as haptens, inducing sensitization.21,22 This explains why nickel allergy depends on climatic factors, as sweating increases the release of nickel from nickel-plated items.23
Nickel exposure amount per skin unit area can be quantifed as g/cm2 and may vary over time depending on skin contact. It is then more relevant to look for low nickel release than for nickel free items.
In 1990, Denmark legislated a limit of 0.5 g/cm2/week of nickel release from nickel-containing alloys and coatings.24 In 1994, the European Union adopted a similar legislation.25 Due to this directives, a decline in the prevalence of nickel allergy was observed in Denmark and Germany.26, 27 However despite of these new regulations, the metal is still the most common allergen detected by patch testing all over Europe.7,18
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