Straight from Our Heart: A Promise to Keep You Nickel Free!

Straight from Our Heart: A Promise to Keep You Nickel Free!

During the month of February, most people are thinking of love and friendship. We think this might be a good time to tell you why we do what we do! Hint: it has to do with the fact that we truly care about our customers!

When we started this business over a decade ago, we did so based on knowledge we had gained in the dermatology and allergy fields. It had become apparent to us that nickel allergy was a significant and ever-growing affliction that wasn’t being addressed by manufacturers.

Step one of our journey in educating the public about nickel allergy was to develop Nickel Alert™, a test for nickel that can be used on any metallic item. The first of its kind, this dmg spot test was formulated for at-home use, and was pre-mixed and pre-measured to ensure accuracy and ease of use. So sensitive that it will detect minute amounts of nickel, Nickel Alert has become the cornerstone of our business. We tout this product as the way to detect nickel in metal, so that your skin doesn’t have to!

Its companion product, Nickel Guard™ is a clinically proven clear coating that forms an invisible micro-bond with metals to prevent exposure to nickel, thus prohibiting any nickel allergy symptoms.

Once we had these building blocks established, allowing those with nickel allergy to detect nickel in any metal and then to protect their skin from that nickel, we wanted to pursue other ways to help our customers assure a nickel free life.

Adding nickel free belts, nickel free belt buckles, and hypoallergenic jewelry was an obvious step as these items are among those most often targeted as the cause of nickel allergy rash.  Unfortunately in the United States there are no FDA regulations on labeling products as “nickel free” or “hypoallergenic” and there are those who would take advantage. We decided early on that our products would be carefully sourced, designed, and manufactured so they would contain no nickel. Furthermore, we test for nickel both pre- and post-production – all steps that are necessary before a product earns the designation and guarantee of being Certified Nickel Free™. This guarantee means that our products come with the lifetime guarantee to never test positive for nickel, so these products can be trusted.

As our company has grown, we have been rewarded by hearing from many of you who have gained information from our website about your nickel allergy and have learned that the use of our products will lead to a comfortable life, free of nickel allergy symptoms. Our promise to you is that we will continue to source top quality nickel free products for you, because we truly do care about our customers.
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Happy Nickel Free New Year!

Happy Nickel Free New Year!

We’re glad you’re visiting our site! Our resolution is to help our nickel allergic customers learn how easy it is to live a comfortable life, free of nickel allergy symptoms. If you’ve been too busy with holiday activities to take some time for yourself, why not start now by eliminating that troublesome nickel allergy rash?

Perhaps you’re confident that a certain belt buckle is causing the itchy, raised nickel allergy bumps on your abdomen, but our experience has shown that the belt buckle worn on the day that symptoms appear may not actually be the belt buckle that contains nickel. Nickel allergy is considered a delayed Type IV contact dermatitis, so the belt buckle you wore a couple of days ago could actually be the problem product.

The good news is there is no need to guess. We advise our customers who have been diagnosed with nickel allergy that the foundation of embarking on a nickel free journey is to use Nickel Solution™ to detect the nickel in metallic items and then to protect the skin from that nickel. Nickel Solution contains one bottle of Nickel Alert, a dmg spot test that will accurately detect minute traces of nickel and one bottle of Nickel Guard™, a lacquer which will provide an effective seal between the nickel salts in metal and your skin.

The first step to eliminating nickel from your life is to use Nickel Alert to test those belt buckles, eyeglass frames, earrings, rings and more to determine which of your metallic items contain nickel. Once that has been determined, you may choose to replace that item with a Certified Nickel Free product or use Nickel Guard to protect your skin. Nickel Guard is best used on smaller items with non-moveable parts.

Here at Athena Allergy, we are excited about our collection of Certified Nickel Free Belts and nickel free jewelry. The majority of our products include Handmade in the USA nickel free belts and Made in the USA Nickel Free Earrings.  Our talented leather crafters and jewelry artisans take a lot of pride in their work, with great attention to detail. Here at Athena Allergy we test and re-test product batches to assure that our customers will never encounter a nickel allergic reaction.

If 2017 is the year to start taking good care of yourself, start by ridding yourself of the complication of nickel allergy. We are here to help!

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Buy Made in USA for a Hometown Holiday

Buy Made in USA for a Hometown Holiday

We hope you’ll consider joining us this holiday season as we make a deliberate effort to Buy Local and Support Made in the USA. Our small family-owned business is successful only because of our loyal customers like you!

We feel good about supporting other small, local businesses knowing we we are doing something to benefit the economy and our neighbors. Plus it just gives us a warm, hometown feeling which is perfect for the holidays. 

Athena Allergy, Inc. has long held a commitment to securing US talent to produce the majority of our products. Starting with our iconic products, Nickel Solution™, Nickel Alert™, and Nickel Guard™ which were formulated, manufactured, and packaged in the USA this goal has continued on to our handcrafted nickel free belts and hypoallergenic earrings.

Filling the previously unmet need of offering Certified Nickel Free™ belts, buckles, earrings, and more, the owners of Athena Allergy continually strive to make easier the lives of those suffering from nickel allergy. Certified Nickel Free products come with a lifetime guarantee to never test positive for nickel. 

With so many new products listed this year, it was hard for us to come up with our traditional favorites to share with you. For the lovely ladies in your life, the Go Girl Gift Set offers two handcrafted leather belts along with a pair of dichroic glass nickel free post earrings. The Ashe Nickel Free Black Dress Belt and the Distressed Rose Nickel Free Brown Casual Belt will cover practically every occasion. To personalize this gift, you get to choose which pair of dichroic glass post earrings will complete the set! Each of these three items was made in the USA! Plus to make your life easier, we'll ship this great gift set out all dressed up in an organza bag! 

If your gift requires an air of sophistication, we have you covered! Just for the holiday season, we are offering the Black on Black Gift Set! A black nickel free dress belt, a black nickel free casual belt, and a black handcrafted wallet. We're thinking you just can't go wrong with black accessories and so we've packaged three of them together for an amazing gift. Again, all handmade in the USA and all fine quality leather! 

Looking to place a little jewelry box under the tree, but are wary of being the bearer of nickel allergy rashes? Our jewelry has been carefully tested to earn the Certified Nickel Free seal of approval! We guarantee this jewelry will never cause a nickel allergy rash. Our Made in the USA nickel free earrings are sure to cause some "oohs and aahs"; the look is spectacular!  

Our wish for you is a nickel-less holiday, but one that is complete with St. Nicholas! Enjoy the home grown feeling of Made in the USA and have a happy holiday!


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Just in time for holiday feasting: will a low-nickel diet help nickel allergy symptoms?

Just in time for holiday feasting: will a low-nickel diet help nickel allergy symptoms?

Ready to do a little holiday indulging? Concerned that it may affect more than your waistline? Here's a bit of good news for nickel allergy sufferers!

But first things first: While it may not fit into your schedule to visit your dermatologist or allergist before the holiday meal this year, be sure to make it your number one New Year's Resolution. Only these professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis and medical advice regarding your nickel allergy and whether a low nickel diet will be a benefit.

Our bit of good news is that one day of holiday feasting should not create a problem for most people with nickel allergy! Continued consumption of high nickel foods does seem to have an affect on a minority of the nickel allergic population. Studies are indicating a relationship between the ingestion of foods high in nickel and conditions such as hives and eczema in a small number of people tested.

If your allergist has recommended a Low Nickel Diet, you probably already know that many foods have the green light.  Holiday staples such as turkey and cranberries are not considered problematic sources of nickel in the diet - so load up your plate!

There may be items on that holiday table that you should avoid if a strict diet has been recommended. Cocoa, chocolate, shellfish, fruits, whole grains, beer, red wine, onions, raw carrots, and most canned foods may contain significant amounts of nickel. However, nickel content often depends upon factors such as the soil where the crop was grown as well as how it was processed and then stored. High nickel in the soil, along with nickel-laden processing equipment and storage containers will lead to higher nickel in the product, making it difficult to accurately identify high nickel foods.

A bit more good news: While the avoidance of tea and coffee on a low nickel diet is suggested, other studies have shown that one or two cups of these beverages on a daily basis should pose little concern. In addition, some studies indicate a diet high in vitamin C and iron can counteract the absorption of ingested nickel.

Individuals who react to nickel ingested through diet have a systemic nickel allergic reaction; those who react only at the point of contact on the skin have allergic contact dermatitis to nickel. The Nickel Allergy Experts at Athena Allergy are ready to help those ACD patients avoid nickel to ward off worsening symptoms.

If your symptoms are found only at the site of the skin's contact with nickel, you should focus on ways to prevent that contact and the resulting rash. Over twelve years ago, Athena Allergy introduced the first pre-mixed and pre-measured dmg spot test for nickel, making it consumer-friendly and easy to use.  Nickel Alert™ has since been used extensively for rapid and accurate testing for nickel in metals. Nickel Alert is so extremely sensitive it will detect nickel in minute amounts of one part per ten thousand. Once nickel is detected, the skin must avoid that nickel in order to evade nickel allergy symptoms.  Nickel Guard™ is clinically proven to provide a micro-bond with metal to assure that nickel cannot contact the skin.  

Another avenue for avoiding nickel is to replace products that contain nickel with those that are guaranteed nickel free.  Athena Allergy offers an wide array of handcrafted in the USA nickel free belts for men, women, and children. We also are proud to provide Made in the USA Nickel Free Earrings in beautiful designs and a variety of color options. We take our customer's nickel allergy concerns to heart and strive to offer the best products, top-notch customer service, informative articles, and  guarantees so that visitors to our site find the answers they need to live a nickel free life!



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Allergic to more than nickel?

Allergic to more than nickel?

If your physician has advised that you have multiple metal allergies, titanium has likely been recommended to you as the solution! While nickel is the most common metal allergy, other metals can cause similar symptoms. Cobalt, chromium, copper, and gold may also be to blame for those itchy rashes.

Titanium is recommended by dermatologists and allergists around the world for their patients who suffer from multiple metal allergies. Titanium is a strong, durable and corrosion resistant metal; topical reactions to titanium are extremely rare.

The Athena Allergy Titanium Belt Collection is an assortment of professional, casual, and sturdy work belts. Most of these belts are also paired with high quality handcrafted leather straps, which earns them the Signature Series designation. The Signature Series Belts come with a lifetime guarantee to never break or fail in any manner. Every Athena Allergy Belt has earned the Certified Nickel Free™ designation, which means that every belt is guaranteed for life to never test positive for nickel.

Several of the Signature Series Belts are new arrivals to Athena Allergy. If it has been awhile since you visited, you might like to see the updated versions of our perennial favorite Wide Pin Belt, the Titanium Wide Pin Black Belt and the Titanium Wide Pin Brown Belt. The unique buckle is now made of solid, nickel free titanium while the straps are handcrafted from a solid piece of full grain leather. These belts are guaranteed for life, so buy the best and buy it once!

Our super sturdy Titanium Work Belts in Black or Brown are renowned for their durability. AJ’s Gun Belt also sports the Titanium Work Buckle and is perfect for supporting holsters or even multiple cell phones. If your job requires a more professional look, the Silver Square Titanium Belts will fulfill that need. Each of these belts has been handcrafted in the USA, so wear them with pride and no allergy rash!

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Shop Smart for Back to School - NickelSmart™

Shop Smart for Back to School - NickelSmart™

Summer has flown by and now we're out with the crowds picking up back to school supplies! We're also hearing from concerned parents who are trying to navigate their child's freedom from nickel allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, back to school may mean back to those itchy, red rashes that can result from prolonged contact with nickel.

A new school year often means new activities. If band is on your nickel allergic student's agenda, be aware that many musical instruments contain nickel. Nickel Alert™, a simple and easy to use dmg spot test, can safely and accurately test for nickel in even extremely low levels. Identify the problem early before it causes lengthy discomfort, or even the inability to play the instrument!

In sports, metal grommets, rings, and closures found in some uniforms may contain nickel. For student athletes with nickel allergy, it is especially important to assure that no nickel in metal items will contact the skin. Perspiration worsens nickel allergy symptoms as it transfers the nickel in metal more readily to the skin, so a resulting rash could become quite uncomfortable and even affect athletic performance. Some of the metal parts on uniforms can be protected with a lacquer especially designed for sensitive skin, Nickel Guard™. Tested by dermatologists and found to be an effective barrier between the nickel in metal and skin, Nickel Guard can be safely and easily applied to non-movable metal parts. It does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate which can create secondary dermatitis problems for those with the sensitive skin associated with nickel allergy.  

Some mobile devices have also tested positive for nickel content. Due to the increased use of tablets in many school systems, it would be advisable to test and if necessary, secure a cover for protection.

Many parents are aware that the nickel in belt buckles causes a very uncomfortable abdominal rash for their children. Athena Allergy's NickelSmart brand nickel free belts are not only guaranteed for life to never test positive for nickel, they are also stylish and comfortable! 

Jewelry for teens and tweens is a notorious source of nickel! Make sure their first days of school are nickel rash free with NickelSmart nickel free earrings! With several sparkly dichroic glass posts, there may even be earrings to match the school colors!

If you feel your child is ready for ear piercing, consider that this step is a major cause of introducing nickel and resulting nickel allergy. Individuals who are susceptible to nickel allergy can quickly become sensitized to nickel with any body piercing. Recommendations for safe piercing include the use of sterile, nickel free needles and nickel free jewelry. The piercer should be able to provide documentation of the metal content of items being used to assure that nickel is not being introduced via piercing.

Make this year a successful, NickelSmart year by trusting the great products offered by The Nickel Allergy Experts at Athena Allergy, Inc.

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NEW! Amish-made Nickel Free Belts - Experience the Quality!

NEW! Amish-made Nickel Free Belts - Experience the Quality!

Buy the best and buy it once! Continuing to follow sound family advice, we at Athena Allergy are always on the lookout for the best products for our customers. We are excited to offer three new belts that come from an Amish family-owned business whose traditions include a strong work ethic and an absolute commitment to quality. These new belts are now a part of our Signature Series Collection which offers each belt with a lifetime guarantee to never break or fail in any manner, while always remaining completely nickel free!

The top quality leather straps are combined with attractive titanium buckles, making it easy for us to guarantee these belts for life. Dermatologists and allergists agree that titanium is the best choice for those who suffer from nickel allergy or other allergies to metals. Titanium is ideal for belt buckles due to its high strength to weight ratio, making it comfortably lightweight and extremely durable.

The Catawba River Black Belt is a great-looking nickel free dress belt which pairs the classic Silver Square Titanium Buckle with a handcrafted bridle leather strap, making this belt an elite contender in the fight against nickel allergy!

The Whitewater Black Belt and the White Oak Brown Belt offer a more casual look, but are also handcrafted to last! Each of these two belt styles has a striking figure eight stitching on top grain leather; the leather has been oiled and waxed giving it good resistance to water and grime. 

The handsome Titanium Work Buckle is the perfect finishing touch for the Whitewater Black Belt, as this center bar buckle is a true centerpiece with its combination of high polish and brushed satin finishes. The White Oak Brown Belt was fitted with the ever-popular Casual Titanium Buckle for a slightly more rugged look.

Whichever Amish-made belt you choose, you can be sure you have a lifetime of wear ahead of you! Enjoy the feel of a fine quality handcrafted belt, along with complete freedom from nickel allergy rash! 

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The World’s Largest Collection of Big and Tall Nickel Free Genuine Leather Belts!

The World’s Largest Collection of Big and Tall Nickel Free Genuine Leather Belts!

For our customers seeking nickel free belts in big and tall sizes, we now offer even more genuine leather belts to fit their sizing needs! Many of our genuine leather, handmade in the USA belts are currently available in custom-made big and tall sizes, up to 62 inches in some styles.

The Elk Knob Belt, the Chestnut Knob Belt, and the Black Balsam Belt are nickel free dress belts in varying colors that are currently available up to a size 62.   More casual choices include the Ridgeline Trail Distressed Leather Nickel Free Belt made of the hugely popular distressed leather and a trendy double pin roller buckle; this belt is currently sized up to size 56.

Known for their incredible comfort, the full grain leather belts known as Roan Mountain Nickel Free Belt and Smoky Mountain Nickel Free Belt are now available in big and tall sizes! These belts continue to grow in popularity for many reasons. These belts have a casual, relaxed look and feel, with some customers likening them to flexible feel of old favorites from the first day they are worn. These belts are paired with the handsome Gunmetal Gray Casual Nickel Free Buckle whose rounded edges maximize easy wear; this buckle is guaranteed for life to never test positive for nickel.

Several Signature Series Belts are also available in big and tall sizes, including the super-durable work belts! Both the Titanium Work Belt in Black and the Titanium Work Belt in Brown are available in sizes 46" and up. 

The goal of Athena Allergy, Inc. has long been to provide variety in the high quality products offered for those who are allergic to nickel. Anyone requiring big and tall sizes can now choose from many of the genuine leather nickel free belt styles that have been made in the USA.

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Straight from Your Heart – the Gift of Nickel Free Jewelry

Straight from Your Heart – the Gift of Nickel Free Jewelry

Shopping for someone allergic to nickel? It's easy with beautiful nickel free jewelry at Athena Allergy, Inc.! Just knowing you need to ‘buy nickel free’ shows you care and understand about your loved one’s nickel allergy. Congratulations on your thoughtful gift idea! If you need a suggestion or two, just read on! 

Topping our Valentine Day list this year has to be the hypoallergenic Look of Royalty Earrings in pink.  These Swarovski aurora borealis cubes are accented with sparkling rhinestone rondelles for an amazing look.  Sure to be a lasting favorite throughout the year, these earrings have been handcrafted in the USA by someone who knows firsthand the problems associated with nickel allergy. She works tirelessly to design then create beautiful earrings that are guaranteed to never cause a nickel allergy rash! 

Another top pick will be the stunning nickel-free Rodanthe Earrings. Named for a charming coastal Carolina town, these red Czech glass earrings are perfect for the season of love and will also add a beautiful pop of cheerful color throughout the year!  

Maybe something a little more heart-felt is what you have in mind? Take a look at the Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings. These dazzling dangles feature sparkling Swarovski hearts that have a diamond-like brilliance. 

If your special someone prefers smaller post earrings, there a lots from which to choose!  Focusing on the traditional red Valentine colors, take a glance at Interstellar Earrings.  These dichroic glass posts offer more than may originally meet the eye – the glass has been fired several times in a regional USA artist’s studio to achieve amazing depth and color. This technique means each pair of earrings will offer some variation, so this is a gift that will be truly unique! 

Looking to put a ring on it?  Don’t let allergies to metal stand in the way of this important occasion. Athena Allergy offers several nickel free titanium rings suitable for men or women as either a wedding band or a fashion accessory.  Titanium is the doctor-recommended choice for anyone with nickel allergy or other allergy to metals. It is also incredibly durable, lightweight, comfortable, and great-looking! 

With these ideas, along with many more available here at Athena Allergy, Inc., this Valentine’s Day is sure to be a happy one!


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Resolving to be Nickel Free?  We Are Here To Help!

Resolving to be Nickel Free? We Are Here To Help!

It's a great day to make a new start! If eliminating nickel allergy symptoms is on your resolution list, be assured that it has gotten easier (and even more stylish) with the newest additions to our nickel free collections. From amazing nickel free jewelry to durable, comfortable, and trendy nickel free belts - this can be your best year to look and feel great!

Fashion experts agree that it simply isn’t possible to pull off a glamorous look when your earlobes are red and itchy from nickel rash! If you’re looking to make a show stopping entrance at a ritzy gala or be the center of attention at your girls’ night out, Athena Allergy has hypoallergenic earrings that will have all eyes on you (and not your unsightly red rash!) 

Classy earrings that have our attention include the elegant Little Black Dress Earrings which feature tiny Swarovski crystals topping sleek black oval beads. Perfect for that LBD, of course!  Going for more color?  The red Rodanthe Nickel Free Earrings are handcrafted in the USA of Czech glass and then wrapped in a silvery wire for an elegant look.  Want more glitz? The Swarovski Crystal Heart Earrings have lots of sparkle, just perfect for a night on the town!  We're thinking ahead to Valentine's Day for all these earrings!

Perhaps a nickel free belt will be the answer to your nickel allergy woes. With more genuine leather belts being added on a regular basis, there is an impressive collection of varying leather types and styles.

Distressed leather is a hot look right now, and there is no longer any reason to delay adding this great accessory to your wardrobe.  Athena Allergy offers three different nickel free belt styles in distressed, or pull up leather. The leather truly is unique as the texture and color actually changes as it is pulled and worn. Set your individual style with one of these nickel free belts:  Roan Mountain Distressed Leather Belt or Ridgeline Trail Distressed Leather Belt.  If you suffer from multiple metal allergies, there is a distressed leather belt just for you:  The Mt. Pisgah Casual Titanium Distressed Leather Belt is one of the elite Signature Series Belts which comes with a lifetime guarantee to never break or fail in any manner.  This belt is fitted with a handsome titanium buckle making it ideal since titanium is recommended by allergists worldwide for those who suffer from either an allergy to nickel or multiple metal allergies. Titanium not only looks great when paired with the genuine leather strap, but it is also extremely durable with a high strength to weight ratio, giving it a lightweight feel! All these belts have been handmade in the USA, so you can feel good about this purchase in more ways than one!

Resolve to remedy your nickel allergy symptoms today with fine quality products from Athena Allergy, Inc.!

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Don’t Let Scary Nickel Allergy Rashes Ruin Your Halloween Fun

Don’t Let Scary Nickel Allergy Rashes Ruin Your Halloween Fun

It can be tricky to prevent nickel allergy symptoms from making a ghastly appearance on the best of days, but on Halloween it seems costumes and props are frighteningly full of this allergen.  Finding nickel free Halloween accessories can be difficult simply because nickel is used so widely in the US.  An inexpensive and durable metal, nickel is often found in costume accessories such as belts, buckles, wands, batons, pitchforks, eyeglass frames, hair clips, metal buttons, snaps, swords, jewelry, and even angel/fairy wings! 

If you or your child have been diagnosed with nickel allergy, it will be helpful to test metallic items prior to long use or wear, so itchy nickel allergy rashes can be avoided.  Nickel Alert™ is an easy to use dimethlyglyoxime test for nickel. Applying Nickel Alert to a cotton swab then firmly rubbing metal will provide a test result in seconds. A pink to red color on the swab means nickel has been detected. Since Nickel Alert will reveal a positive result with even extremely low levels of nickel, you can be assured that an item is truly nickel free after a negative result. 

Suppose you’ve found perfect costume accessory and it tests positive for nickel: there are other options available so you may still be able to use it. Nickel Guard™ provides clinically proven barrier protection between metal and skin.  Best used on small immobile products, Nickel Guard can be lacquered onto the metal to form a micro-bond that prevents skin contact from the nickel in metal.  Nickel Guard was developed by Athena Allergy, Inc. specifically for those with sensitive skin and does not contain harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, known to cause skin irritation. If the item is large and bulky, consider creative ways to protect your skin from contact with the prop such as wearing gloves to wave the Fairy Godmother’s Wand! 

For those who are extremely sensitive, nickel can haunt the evening in other ways, including diet. Chocolate, the Halloween staple, can be a source of high nickel dietary content. The lengthy refining process for dark chocolate and cocoa powder allows these products to be in direct contact with machinery that often contains nickel, which will actually add nickel to those items. Most people with nickel allergy have no dietary restrictions; however, a visit to an allergist can offer either reassurance or suggestions for a low nickel diet.  The Athena Allergy website offers further information on The Nickel Allergy Diet, along with other helpful information for managing nickel allergy. 

The selection of handcrafted, hypoallergenic seasonal earrings at Athena Allergy changes throughout the year.  For autumn activities, take a look at Fall Harvest Earrings or Pumpkin Patch Earrings which are sure to add the perfect finishing touch to any enchanted evening!  

One last scary thought to complete your Halloween:  a lot of very organized people are already finishing their holiday shopping! Whenever you decide to join in, make sure to take a fresh look at all Athena Allergy has to offer. The selection of handcrafted genuine leather belts has increased tremendously this year.  A new genuine leather child’s casual belt has been added, along with a children’s belt set. The distressed leather belts have been extremely popular for the fall months, and the handcrafted titanium belts now come with a lifetime guarantee making them an extremely attractive gift option. 

This Halloween, treat yourself to a nickel free life with the trusted products from The Nickel Allergy Experts at Athena Allergy, Inc.

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Concerns Continue as iPhone Causes Nickel Allergy Rash

Concerns Continue as iPhone Causes Nickel Allergy Rash

Once again Apple products are making news in the dermatology field as now the iPhone 6 has been implicated as the cause of a British man’s serious allergic reaction to nickel.  Just last year, a young boy was treated for severe nickel allergy as a result of spending time on his iPad.  As new iPhone products are launching this month, nickel allergy sufferers are concerned about making this investment. 

While Apple indicates these reactions are extremely rare, it has also been noted that overall incidences of nickel allergy are on the rise.  Dermatologists such as Dr. Sharon Jacob have been trying to bring the concern about nickel allergy to the manufacturers.  Dr. Jacob diagnosed and treated the 11-year old whose nickel allergy to his iPad made international news last year.  She  expressed her concern directly to Athena Allergy, Inc. owner, Michael Dow, as she enlisted his support and learned more about his organizations.  Dow and his wife, Lea are respected in the dermatology and allergy fields as experts on allergic contact dermatitis to nickel.  Their companies, NoNickel and parent company Athena Allergy, Inc., sell nickel test kits and products which are tested and guaranteed to be nickel free.  They, too, are seeing a noticeable increase in the numbers of people seeking relief from nickel allergy symptoms. 

Nickel allergy is caused when an individual becomes sensitized to nickel either through piercing or other direct and continued contact with metal containing nickel.  The most common symptom of nickel allergy is a red rash that is intensely itchy and appears at the site of contact.  Other symptoms may include blisters, hives, cracking or dry/leathery patches of skin.  In years past, nickel allergy symptoms most often occurred when women had their ears pierced for the first time.  Now men are frequently those seeking treatment and nickel avoidance. Dow shares that belt buckles are a primary concern for men with nickel allergy today.  The belt buckles offered by Athena Allergy have been carefully sourced, then tested to assure they will never cause a nickel rash.  Since some customers are unsure of their metal allergy, Athena Allergy offers a number of titanium buckles that are recommended by dermatologists for almost any metal allergy. 

Apple is not alone in making the headlines with nickel allergy reactions. In recent years, a Fitbit tracker was identified as a source of nickel.  Fitbit responded quickly to these concerns by offering refunds or exchanges, but problems seem to be continuing with some of their products.  However, Fitbit has been proactive by creating an advisory board of certified dermatologists to assist with testing and wear protocol.   In Europe, there are regulations governing the use of nickel in the manufacture of goods.  Dermatologists credit this directive with reducing the incidences of nickel allergy in European countries.  However, since the recent case of nickel allergy from an iPhone was in Great Britain, it causes concern to resurface regarding international brands. 

If a person is concerned that the electronic device is causing a reaction, there are several options.  The first step would be to visit a dermatologist or allergist to determine if the individual has nickel or other metal allergy.  Another possible step is to test the device for nickel content.  All metallic items can be easily and safely tested using the dimethylglyoxime nickel test, Nickel Alert™. This dmg spot test will provide fast and highly accurate results and can be purchased from  Questioning the manufacturer is a good practice typically before making a purchase, but can also be helpful in identifying the source of an irritant. Using a protective case is another proven way to provide a barrier between any nickel in an electronic device and the skin. 

It would seem reasonable to expect manufacturers to identify products containing nickel, especially with the successful push toward labeling food products for similar reasons. While nickel allergy sufferers wait for changes in laws governing the use of nickel in metals, living a life free of nickel rashes is possible.  Athena Allergy, Inc. offers educational tips, nickel test kits, nickel barrier protection, nickel free jewelry, and nickel free belts. The nickel free belt selection is the largest in the world and consists of many handcrafted, genuine leather belts.  Every product comes with the guarantee that it will never test positive for nickel; the Signature Series Belts are sold with a lifetime guarantee against breakage or defect.   It is even possible to order nickel free rivets and buttons from Athena Allergy making it simple to replace those causing an abdominal rash.  The Nickel Allergy Experts at Athena Allergy, Inc. are making it easier than ever to manage nickel allergy.

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