Nickel allergies

Metallic allergies most commonly occur as contact dermatitis (skin irritation that may resemble eczema). This reaction occurs when the skin reacts strongly to certain elements. The most common symptoms are localized redness, irritation, inflammation, and pain. If it is exposed to the allergen metal for too long, the skin may become darker, thicken, and/or split in some places.

Widely used in the making of jewelery, buttons, zippers, and kitchenware, nickel seems to be the metal that causes the most problems, as it is the most widely used. However, there are also allergies to chromium, silver, and even gold, especially when these metals are mixed with nickel, which is becoming more common. According to a study conducted in Singapore, nickel allergies have increased from 14 percent in 1984 to 20 percent in 2003. Most of the time, sweat can speed up the allergic reaction to nickel, and subsequent dermatitis.

Nickel is found in a lot of fashion jewelery. It is also more and more present in gold and silver. It should also be noted that a person who did not have a nickel allergy can become allergic by being exposed to this metal.  

It is very difficult to find jewelery without nickel. Ask carefully before shopping for jewelery if you are allergic. Also read in this post why the term hypoallergenic is not a guarantee you will be protected against your allergies.

(Image Source:  Wikipedia picture)