Nickel Allergy

What is nickel allergy?

Nickel allergy is a very common form of dermatitis called allergic contact dermatitis or ACD.  An allergic reaction occurs when your body responds to an otherwise harmless agent by releasing the chemical histamine and thus causing a number of uncomfortable symptoms.

How did I develop an allergy to nickel?

Prolonged contact with metal containing nickel, such as the introduction of nickel to the body through piercings, is a common cause of the development of nickel allergy in an individual. Sensitization can take days, months or even years but once a person has become sensitive to nickel it typically lasts for a lifetime.

What are the symptoms of nickel allergy?

Common symptoms include a red rash which may be moderately to intensely itchy, raised bumps, blisters or swelling, welts or fissures on the skin. Left untreated, the skin may become dry, leathery, and cracked.

How is nickel allergy diagnosed?

Only a physician can definitively diagnose nickel allergy.  Seeking the counsel of a  dermatologist or allergist  is advised for anyone with symptoms of dermatitis.  Patch testing for allergies will offer a conclusive diagnosis.

What treatment is advised for nickel allergy?

For temporary relief of nickel allergy symptoms, your doctor may write a prescription or offer recommendations for over-the-counter products.  There is no cure for nickel allergy.  Only avoiding nickel will successfully eliminate the symptoms of nickel allergy. 


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