Many people are allergic to jewelry containing nickel, which can make the skin sensitive, red and itchy. For many people who suffer from this form of allergy, the only solution is to wear nickel free earrings.
Symptoms of Nickel Allergy
Nickel allergy is generally visible within 24 hours or less after exposure to the metal. The symptoms include rashes, skin swelling, blisters, dry patches, redness, and itching. As a result, the skin is covered with scales and crust.
It is essential to treat nickel allergy immediately as if it is left untreated, the skin may crack and becomes leathery and dark. Often, a rash on the earlobe due to a nickel allergy may spread to other parts of the skin. In peak summer, sweating will only make things worse.
Testing For Nickel Allergy
When the skin exhibits such symptoms, the doctor will recommend tests to check for allergy. The doctor will want to know the types of metals that the patient has touched and will recommend a patch skin test, which will confirm if the symptoms are due to nickel allergy or something else.
To do the patch test, a small quantity of nickel will be applied on the skin and it will be left there for 2 days. Skin that is allergic to nickel will start to exhibit symptoms after this time. In many cases, the dermatologist may recommend more tests.
Treating Nickel Allergy
Although nickel allergy can last throughout a person's lifetime, the symptoms can be eased with topical creams and over the counter pills. The best way to treat this form of allergy is to avoid wearing metals that contain nickel.
In the case of a mild reaction, topical application of hydro-cortisone cream can help. Antihistamine pills can also help, but the patient should consult a dermatologist first and act according to his or her recommendations. In severe cases, the doctor may recommend application of steroid cream or steroid pills.
Avoiding Nickel Allergy Reaction
The following precautions can be taken to prevent a nickel allergy reaction:
ïƒ˜ When getting ears or any other body part pierced, the individual should ensure that the piercing is done using a stainless steel metal only.
ïƒ˜ It is essential to only wear safe metals like gold or stainless steel. Wearing nickel free jewelry is the best way to prevent nickel allergy.
ïƒ˜ It is always best to wear hypoallergenic jewelry like gold, which should be at least 14 carats.
ïƒ˜ Clothes may contain buttons, fasteners, snaps or rivets that are made of metal and may contain nickel. It is best to avoid such items, and buy or wear clothes that have plastic coated snaps and buttons.
ïƒ˜ Since many people wear earrings to match their outfits, they should ensure that the earrings are plastic coated, or they should use nickel free earrings.
ïƒ˜ In case it is not possible to wear earrings that are nickel-free, then a corticosteroid cream should be applied on the earlobes before wearing the earrings to minimize or prevent any reaction. The cream should also be applied again after removal of the earrings.
Many products in the market have a "hypoallergenic" label. But, this does not mean that they are nickel free. Silver, white gold, and cobalt can contain a small quantity of nickel and, hence, are not safe for people with nickel allergies. It is always best to ask the merchant if the metal contains nickel. If it is not possible to buy yellow gold earrings, then it is best to wear stainless jewelry, which is polished to a high luster.
For a large selection of nickel free earrings to choose from, head on over to http://www.sensitively-yours.com to see all kinds of styles and more great information.
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