Understanding Nickel Allergies

Posted Thursday, December 29, 2016

Did You Know? Women are more likely to be allergic to nickel

There are More Than 3 Million Cases of Contact Dermatitis a Year

Women are More Likely to be Allergic to Nickel and Suffer from Contact Dermatitis

Many people suffer from allergic reactions to a broad spectrum of things. Food allergies and plant related allergies are some of the most common and most frequent causes of allergic reactions. Contact dermatitis from the skins reaction to an allergen is often a nuisance; however it is also the most treatable. 

Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of nickel allergy causes, symptoms and treatment.   


As with other allergies, a nickel allergy develops when your immune system views nickel as a harmful, rather than harmless substance. When the irritant comes in contact with the skin the body has a negative over reaction to the irritant (contact dermatitis). This leads to skin rashes, hives and blisters.  

02 Symptoms

An allergic reaction usually begins within hours to days after exposure to nickel. The reaction may last as long as two to four weeks. The reaction tends to occur only where your skin came into contact with nickel, but sometimes may appear in other places on your body. Nickel allergy signs and symptoms include:

  • Rash or bumps on the skin
  • Itching, which may be severe
  • Redness or changes in skin color
  • Dry patches of skin that may resemble a burn
  • Blisters and draining fluid in severe cases


During a patch test, very small quantities of potential allergens (including nickel) are applied to your skin and covered with small patches. The patches remain on your skin for two days before the doctor removes them. If you have a nickel allergy, the skin under the nickel patch will be inflamed when the patch is removed or in the days after removal of the patch.

04 │Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications to reduce irritation and improve the condition of a rash from a nickel allergy reaction: 

  • Corticosteroid cream, to relieve itching and pain
  • Nonsteroidal creams, to relieve itching, dryness and pain
  • Oral Corticosteroids, to work from the inside of the body to relieve symptoms
  • Oral antihistamine, to relieve symptoms quickly and immediately and control an allergic reaction

05│ Precautions

When having highly sensitive allergies to everyday materials like nickel and other metals it is important to be extra attentive to what you come in contact with. It is easy to use an everyday item and not realize the danger it causes to your body.  Buttons, zippers, glasses; even silverware can become hazardous and cause allergic reactions.  

For more information on nickel allergies and other derma logical conditions, please visit: http://www.aocd.org/   

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