Nickel or Jewelry Allergy Rash
A nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis (rash on the skin) and usually develops after repeated exposure to items containing nickel. The itchy rash generally appears in the areas where jewelry is worn, in particular on ears, neck, wrists and fingers. More than 10 percent of people are allergic to nickel. TriCalm can help provide relief.
When exposed to nickel or other metals like palladium or cobalt, the body identifies the foreign substance as harmful and produces inflammatory and itch-producing chemicals. When the chemicals are released into the body, the skin forms an itchy rash in the area the skin was exposed to the foreign substance.
If you have a nickel allergy and you’re exposed to a nickel-containing item, you will generally experience an allergic reaction within 12 to 48 hours after the initial exposure. Depending upon the severity of your allergy, a reaction may persist for as long as two to four weeks.
Nickel allergy symptoms include:
- A rash or bumps on the skin
- Itching (which may be severe)
- Changes in skin color
- Dry patches of skin that may resemble a burn
Nickel Allergy Rash Treatments
A dermatologist can perform a simple skin patch test to determine if you have a nickel allergy. Your doctor will use hypoallergenic tape to apply tiny quantities of several suspected allergens to the skin of your upper back. The tape must stay on your back undisturbed for 48 hours to determine the severity of the reaction.
A nickel allergy is a lifelong condition. Avoiding metals that use nickel (or palladium or cobalt), like white gold, will help you avoid future allergic reactions. Instead wear jewelry that is 24K gold or platinum. If a reaction does occur, topical treatments like TriCalm may help relieve the itching and burning sensations associated with the nickel allergy for four to six hours, and because TriCalm is steroid-free it can be reapplied as needed.