Nickel allergy occurs once an adverse skin reaction develops once in contact with nickel. Throughout the years, nickel allergies have steadily increased. As a result, nickel used in jewelry and eyeglasses was drastically reduced to prevent the cases of nickel allergies. On the other hand, nickel is not only used in jewelry, but also in other products. The reason for this is that it is a malleable metal that is easy to work with.
What are the symptoms of nickel allergy?
An individual with nickel allergy will start to develop contact dermatitis within 12-48 hours after exposure to any item that contains nickel such as jewelry or food products. If you will sign up for a first aid class, you will learn the appropriate measures for this condition. The symptoms of nickel allergy include the following:
- Rashes or skin bumps
- Redness or changes in the color of the skin
- Blisters (in severe cases)
- Dry patches on the skin resembling a burn
- Sweat at the area that came in contact with nickel
Always remember that nickel is considered as one of the main causes of a rash called allergic contact dermatitis. An individual who is allergic to nickel will suffer from a localized response after exposure to nickel. Allergic contact dermatitis has the following symptoms:
- Formation of vesicles
Take note that this rash can last between 2-4 weeks after an exposure. In case the individual experiences warmth, pain, redness or pus in the rash area, it is best to consult a doctor since it indicates an infection.
Treatment for nickel allergy
There is no cure for a nickel allergy. Just like with other allergies, the best treatment is to avoid the specific allergen. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe medications for the allergic rash such as a corticosteroid cream, oral antihistamine and oral corticosteroid.
What foods must be avoided?
It is surprisingly to note that nickel is present in a large number of foods. With this in mind, an individual who is allergic to nickel must avoid the following:
- Vegetables – beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, peas, soy products and canned vegetables
- Grains – oatmeal, buckwheat, oats, multigrain cereals and breads, whole wheat, wheat germ and whole wheat pasta
- Dairy – chocolate milk
- Fruits – pears, bananas and canned fruits and fruit cocktails
- Meat – shellfish, processed meat with coatings and fillers as well as canned fish or meat
Other sources of dietary nickel that must be avoided include seeds, black tea, chocolate and cocoa powder, nuts, salad dressings and even vitamins. An individual prone to nickel allergy must avoid using stainless steel cooking utensils or drink tap water from a faucet.
Testing for nickel allergy
The doctor will diagnose nickel allergy depending on the appearance of the skin of the individual. A patch test is usually used in which the doctor applies a small amount of the allergen to a small patch and then placed on the skin to check for any reaction.