Nickel Allergy

Nickel AllergyNot all of us are born with a healthy immune system and even though we seem healthy and perfect, there can be certain things that can cause irritation and undesirable effects on us. A person must be aware of his allergies in order to avoid those items that cause the allergy in the first place.

Causes

Nickel is a metal and is commonly used in making jewelry, coins, zippers, cell phones and the list goes on and on. People having nickel allergy are usually advised to minimize their contact with the items that use Nickel as their core material. There is no specific reason as to why this allergy takes place in some people’s immune system; however, a common observation is that people inherit this allergy from their family. People who have nickel allergy might also feel allergic to other metals too; like palladium, iron, cobalt, etc.

Symptoms

Irritation occurs wherever the skin has come in contact with Nickel. For example, if a person having Nickel Allergy wears earrings (that have Nickel in them) then he is most likely to experience irritation around his ears. The skin turns red and the patient experiences severe itching, rashes and blisters. The affected part also turns red or pinkish in color, giving skin a somewhat burnt look. The symptoms might not appear at once and may take 12 to 48 hours to appear and they can last till a fortnight or even a month in some severe cases.

Risk factors

These are some of the factors that catalyze the process of developing Nickel allergy for people of all age groups:

  • Piercing: Nickel is a common element in the making of jewelry. Getting ears or any other part of the body pierced once or twice might not have any effect but continuous piercing makes the person exposed to Nickel and increases his chance of developing Nickel allergy.
  • Being female: This is connected to the first factor. Females have more tendency of developing Nickel allergy since they are more interested in getting their ears pierced and in wearing jewelry.
  • Exposure to Nickel: Being exposed to Nickel constantly increases a person’s chances of developing Nickel allergy. This is why metal workers have more chances of getting this allergy than people who are not in this occupation. Constant exposure makes the immune system vulnerable or sensitive to Nickel.

Treatment

Medical treatment requires that you visit your doctor as soon as possible to stop the reaction. There is no way to get rid of Nickel allergy once you develop it; however, there are home remedies and medical treatments that can cure it for the time being. As soon as you notice some irritation in your skin, apply a little soothing lotion to that area to get rid of the itching. You can either use calamine lotion or go for the regular petroleum jelly. Blisters can be cured by soaking a clean cloth in Burrow’s solution. You can either get this solution from your local pharmacy or make it at home; add aluminum acetate in diluted white vinegar (diluted white vinegar is 1 ounce of white vinegar in 16 ounces of water). Place the wet piece of cloth over the affected part for some time; half an hour or 45 minutes. Repeat the method several times a day.

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