How to Deal With a Nickel Allergy

Dealing with nickel allergies can be frustrating, painful, and limiting. What nickel-allergy sufferer hasn’t looked longingly at a gorgeous necklace or fabulous pair of earrings and had to pass them up for fear of a red, bumpy, itchy rash flaring up less than an hour after putting them on? Many people out there suffer from nickel allergies, but there are several things that can be done to make it less of a hassle.

Avoid the allergy in the first place. Nickel allergy is not something you are born with. It develops in some people when they are exposed to nickel. It might be too late for you, but you can give your child a good start with medical ear piercing, which uses only hypoallergenic materials, such as medical plastic and medical grade titanium. Avoiding nickel while the ear is healing is an essential first step in staying allergy-free.

Treat the allergy. First, you need to be sure that any nickel-induced rash you have heals properly. The affected areas (usually earlobes, fingers, and/or neck) become extremely itchy. They may also become bumpy, red, and blistered. Over time, the area may develop a hard, scaly feel and appearance. These rashes often become worse when you sweat. An open wound can result from scratching. Be sure to remove the item causing the rash and use hydrocortisone cream to soothe the area. Treat any open wounds with antibiotic ointment, and don’t hesitate to see a doctor if it doesn’t heal quickly. Your dermatologist can give you further advice on treating the affected areas.

Find and avoid nickel. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, are often alloyed with nickel. Less expensive gold and silver pieces are often the most troublesome. White gold always contains some nickel, which is added to yellow gold to make it white. If that isn’t enough to think about, did you know that nickel is also found in zippers, watch buckles, some eyeglasses frames, and even the rivets and buttons on a pair of jeans? If you’re experiencing irritation in places associated with any of these items, be sure to find a solution. You can patch the back of the buttons on your jeans and switch to nylon-based watch-bands. How to deal with jewelry is detailed next.

Consider plating. If you have an item of jewelry with which you absolutely cannot part, ask about plating. This is a process by which a jeweler can coat your piece of jewelry with a thin layer of a non-allergic metal, such as rhodium or platinum. The downside is that it can be expensive and needs to be re-plated when the layer inevitably wears off, but it is an option to consider for precious jewelry. For example, a white gold wedding band may need to be rhodium-plated about twice a year, but the timing will vary from person to person.

Buy hypoallergenic jewelry. Fortunately, there are some gorgeous pieces of jewelry at Blomdahl USA, who specialize in making hypoallergenic jewelry for people with nickel allergies. They have a wide variety of skin-friendly earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that can be worn 24/7 by nickel allergy sufferers with absolutely no problem. Nickel allergy sufferers no longer need to forgo beautiful jewelry thanks to these affordably luxurious pieces.

Nickel allergies can be annoying, but don’t have to be a big problem anymore. If you follow these easy tips, you can stay rash-free while still wearing lovely jewelry.


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