If your skin breaks out every time it touches metal jewelry, you may be allergic to nickel. Rashes caused by nickel can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how allergic you are to the metal. Fortunately, you can treat these rashes. You can also prevent them by changing the kind of jewelry you wear.
Why Is My Jewelry Giving Me a Rash?
People usually think of five cent coins when they hear the word “nickel,” but this metal has many uses. It is cheap and strong, so manufacturers use nickel in many of the things you wear. Nickel may be lurking in your metal watches, fasteners, buckles, and jewelry.
Many people are allergic to nickel. According to The Mayo Clinic, more women than men suffer from this allergy. Allergic reactions happen when your immune system mistakenly treats a substance as harmful. No one knows why nickel makes some people’s bodies overreact.
What Are the Symptoms of Nickel Allergy?
If you are allergic and wear a piece of jewelry that contains nickel, you will get contact dermatitis. This is a fancy term for an itchy rash. Your symptoms will develop where the jewelry touched your skin within two days. Mild nickel allergy symptoms include reddish skin and small bumps. These symptoms are more of an annoyance than a health threat. You can control the itching with over the counter anti-histamine creams and pills.
If your rash has large hives and a bright red color, you have a moderate nickel allergy. It is important to give a moderate rash rest by not letting any metals touch it. You should keep the rash dry. Keep a close eye on your symptoms and be ready to act if they become more severe.
Severe nickel allergy rashes develop wet blisters and scaly dry patches. Infectious germs can easily get into your skin when the blisters pop and the patches crack. To treat a severe rash from your nickel allergy, you should see a doctor. Get a prescription strength anti-histamine cream during your visit. If your rash is painful with pus filled cracks, you should also ask for an antibiotic cream.
How Can I deal with a Nickel Allergy?
If you are allergic to nickel, prevention is the best cure. WebMD lists several tips for avoiding nickel. If you are severely allergic to nickel, changing your diet will help. Some foods, such as fish and chocolate, have high levels of nickel. You will feel relief if you stop eating these foods. If your nickel allergy is more mild, you just have to change what you wear. A leather watch strap will feel good on your wrist. Plastic buttons, plastic coated fasteners, and painted buckles are all smart clothing choices.
Choosing the right jewelry is also important. Gold and sterling silver are good. There are also cheaper alternatives that won’t make you break out in a rash. Stainless steel and titanium are both good alternatives to nickel. Retailers like Blomdahl USA specialize in affordable jewelry that doesn’t cause allergies.
If you have a nickel allergy, don’t let that rash annoy and embarrass you. It’s time to stop wasting money on all those creams. All you need to do to shine is to invest in a new wardrobe and some new jewelry.