Allergic reaction to jewellery? This is what you want to know about a nickel allergy

Do you get itching and rashes where you wear jewellery, where your bra clasp touches your skin, or where the button of your jeans is? Then you may be allergic to nickel, a non-precious metal that’s used in all kinds of metal objects.

  1. What is it?

Nickel allergy is one of the most common contact allergies. Your skin gives an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with products containing nickel, and there are quite a few of them. The allergy can develop at any age but is more common in women than in men. It’s possible that you weren’t allergic to nickel before, but that you suddenly have an allergic reaction to it later in life. A nickel allergy often arises after prolonged and repeated contact with nickel.

2. Symptoms

You can recognise a nickel allergy by red spots that appear at the place that has been in contact with nickel. Such a red spot often arises and you also suffer from itching, which in some cases can cause blisters or the skin to flake. This is also known as allergic contact dermatitis. Some people may experience extensive hand or foot eczema, even without direct contact with nickel. This often results in blisters that dry at some point and can turn into hard flakes and fissures. To confirm whether you suffer from a nickel allergy, you can have a test done at the doctor or dermatologist.

3. Prolonged contact

Once you’re allergic to nickel, you won’t get rid of it and you’ll react to all nickel-containing objects. However, a reaction often only arises after prolonged contact. Turning a key in the lock, touching a door handle, or paying with a coin containing nickel won’t necessarily cause an allergic reaction. But if you work a lot with nickel-containing products or always keep your keys in your pocket, a reaction can occur. Good to know is that the allergy isn’t caused by the nickel itself, but by the nickel salts that are formed under the influence of sweat that comes into contact with, for example, a piece of jewellery. This releases the nickel.

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Love, Skye Lewis ❀

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