Cheaper jewelry is often made using nickel because it is a more affordable material for manufacturers. Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from nickel allergies that make wearing this type of jewelry uncomfortable, painful and even downright dangerous. Understanding the signs of a nickel allergy and how to treat the symptoms will help you wear any of your jewelry in style.
Knowing the Signs of a Nickle Allergy
Contact dermatitis, which happens after the nickel comes into contact with the skin, can develop within a few hours to several days after putting jewelry on. Symptoms of a nickel allergy include redness of the area exposed to the jewelry, rash or bumps, itching, warmth, dry patches of skin and blistering. More severe symptoms that could indicate an underlying infection from the allergy include pus or bleeding in the area coupled with severe targeted pain.
Most jewelry that is sold cheaper at a discount and does not specifically say that it is nickel-free often contains this allergy-aggravating metal. Nickle can also be found in other household items such as coins, cheap silverware, belt buckles and eyeglass frames, but allergies normally surface as a result of wearing some type of jewelry, like what you’d find in earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Because earrings go through a puncture wound in the ear, allergies present here can be especially irritating and can cause infections.
In general, if you’re wearing a piece of jewelry and you’re finding that it’s making that area of the skin red, itchy and irritated, chances are that it contains nickel and you’re having an allergic reaction. Nickle allergies aren’t are problematic as, say, peanut allergies because they are not life threatening, but they can still cause problems that require medical care, such as ear infections and pus-filled cysts. Once your body has developed an allergy to nickel, your immune system will always be sensitive to it.
How to Treat the Symptoms of a Nickel Allergy
Unfortunately, there is no cure for a nickel allergy. However, there are ways to treat the effected area and prevent the sensitivity from developing in the first place. If you’re dealing with an allergic reaction right now, a corticosteroid cream and oral antihistamine will help with the itching and redness. Phototherapy, which involves a UV light, can be used on patients who have not responded to topical and oral treatment.
In most cases, a nickel allergy can be alleviated by getting away from the source of the irritant. Because nickel allergies are often surface-based, you need to take the jewelry out of your ear or off your skin to prevent the sensitivity from getting worse. If your piercings are new and you are not sure how to remove them, go back to where you had them pierced. Certain shops use cheaper jewelry even for initial piercings, so you’ll need to remove the metal to avoid a future infection from developing.
To avoid an allergy altogether, make sure that you buy only nickel-free jewelry. Items should always be labeled nickel-free to ensure that you won’t have an allergic reaction to wearing the pieces. Better quality jewelry may not be as affordable as the cheaper alternative, but your body will thank you for it and you’ll find that it’s more enjoyable to wear the pieces because they don’t cause the area to become red and itchy.
Blomdahl USA sells some amazing nickel-free jewelry that is ideal for adults and children who cannot wear cheap nickel-laden products. They also offer a range of body jewelry and skin-friendly necklaces and bracelets for individuals who have severe allergy problems. It pays to invest in better quality products that you know you’ll be able to wear in comfort.