Nickel allergy: How to avoid exposure and reduce symptoms

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , /

If you have a nickel allergy, the best way
to avoid symptoms is to avoid objects containing nickel. However, this can be challenging, as nickel
is present in many common household items. To help you avoid exposure and reduce symptoms,
dermatologists recommend the following tips: Choose jewelry carefully. It’s common for a nickel allergy to develop
from wearing jewelry containing nickel. Earrings, earring backs, and watches are some
of the biggest culprits; however necklaces, rings, and bracelets containing nickel can
also trigger symptoms. To avoid exposure, only wear jewelry that
is nickel-free, hypoallergenic, or made from metals such as surgical-grade stainless steel,
18-, 22- or 24-karat yellow gold, pure sterling silver, or platinum. In addition, wear watchbands made of leather,
cloth or plastic. While wearing latex gloves, check your clothing. In addition to jewelry, it’s common for
belt buckles, bra hooks and metal buttons, zippers, and snaps to contain nickel. If your clothing has these, replace them with
ones that are plastic or plastic-coated. You can also create a barrier between these
items and your skin by coating the items with clear nail polish. However, the nail polish will need to be re-applied
often. Cover electronics. Recent reports suggest that some electronic
devices, including cell phones, laptops, and tablets may contain nickel. To avoid exposure, always use a protective
cover on your electronic devices. Substitute household objects containing nickel
with objects made of other materials. Examples of objects made from other materials
include brass keys; titanium coated or stainless steel razors; pots and pans with silicone
handles; and titanium or plastic eyeglass frames. If you are extremely sensitive to nickel,
you may also want to consider avoiding foods that contain nickel. Some foods that contain nickel include: Soy products, including soybeans, soy meal,
soy sauce, and tofu; licorice, buckwheat, cocoa powder, clams, cashews, and figs. Rashes caused by nickel allergy are not
life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable. If you think you have an allergy, or if you
have a rash that blisters, becomes infected, or comes and goes, see a board-certified dermatologist. To find a dermatologist in your area, visit

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