Nickel is the most common metal used in our daily life; from coins to belt buckles and also used in jewelry and eyeglass frames.
Nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of contact dermatitis, a skin inflammation which results in itchy, swollen skin due to the contact of your skin to the allergen.
Nickel is a white-silvery metal which is usually used to mix with other metal to make alloys.
These nickel alloys are mainly used in the making of coins, eyeglass frames, and costume jewelry and especially in stainless steel surgical tools.
Nickel allergy develops after the initial contact of your skin to nickel containing items or it extends after the prolonged use of these nickel items on your body. Nickel allergy can be identified with itchy and tingly feeling on the skin within 20 minutes immediately after the contact.
With in 1 or 2 days, you can experience red, swollen rash and watery blisters on your skin. Sweating of your skin while you wear a nickel item on your body increases the risk of dermatitis.
What are the main sources which can make your skin sensitive to nickel?
The main cause for a person’s sensitivity towards nickel metal is still unknown. In some persons, nickel allergy usually starts with piercing ears or other parts of the body with nickel containing needles or using ear rings made with nickel.
You don’t experience any allergy during the initial exposure of your skin to the allergen; rather you can experience due to prolonged exposure of your skin to become sensitive towards nickel metal.
If nickel allergy is once established on your skin, then your skin will become sensitive towards nickel permanently.
You can avoid nickel allergy by following these four simple tips:
- If you are allergic to nickel, then try to apply a mild steroid cream to skin before wearing nickel containing items. This steroid cream helps you as â€œunder occlusionâ€ (which acts like a tape around the surface of the skin).
- Nickel guard is a chemical solution which acts like wall of protection between your skin and jewelry. This solution is very helpful in preventing nickel allergy. This solution can be applied either to the item or jewelry containing nickel or it can be applied on the surface of your skin. This is one of the safest and easiest methods of preventing nickel allergy. It doesn’t cause any harm to your skin and also to your expensive jewelry.
- Always try to keep your skin dry, especially the part of the skin which is exposed to nickel metal. Contact of the metal with water can allow the metal ions enter into your skin and increase the risk of nickel allergy.
- Try to avoid jewelry made with nickel, unless it is obligatory.