Allergic to Jewelry



There is a rare human indeed who does not appreciate and long for beautiful jewellery! Gold and silver are the preferred metals that enjoy popularity among all irrespective of age, region or race.  Gold and silver are the precious metals treasured the world over for centuries. The properties of ductility and malleability possessed by these metals to a high degree enable jewellery to be fashioned in many forms and designs. 


Allergy Due to Ingredients



Actually the allergy comes not from the gold or silver of the jewelry as the making process involves combining other metals like nickel, copper or zinc.  The allergy is usually due to the nickel content to which the skin is allergic.


What is Nickel Dermatitis?



Many people are allergic to jewellery. They suffer from rashes and inflammations on wearing jewellery. The Nickel present in the jewellery worn is the allergen. This condition is known as Nickel Dermatitis. The allergy is a contact allergy and people are susceptible to it as per their tolerance levels.


Symptoms of Allergy to Jewellery


The skin is affected around the areas that jewellery is worn. The allergy may manifest itself as:


1. Rashes or discoloration of the skin at the points of contact with jewellery



2. Pus discharge from pierced ear, nose, navel or any part where the body has been pierced to wear jewelry


3. Itching or burning sensation in contact area e.g. neck, wrist, earlobe


4. Clot on finger where ring is worn


How Does Allergy Occur?


Nickel allergy is an adverse reaction of the body to the Nickel present in the jewellery. When jewellery is worn on the skin, nickel passes into the blood stream and comes into contact with cells which react adversely. This reaction of the body causes the skin to erupt in violent rashes.


Sweat, traces of bath water and soap trapped between the piece of jewellery and skin may cause the skin to break and facilitate entry of nickel into the blood stream. This causes a foul odor and skin rashes.


How to Prevent Allergy


1. Wear jewellery on clean, dry skin. Jewelry should be worn after talc has been dusted on his skin.


2. jewellery should be loose enough to allow circulation of air.



3. An application of clear nail polish to the surface of the jewellery does not allow nickel to come into contact with the skin and prevents allergy. This is a short term solution.


4. People who are allergic to jewellery should get their jewelelry lacquered or plated with palladium.


5. Stainless steel items of jewellery are available which help in avoiding skin allergies




It is always better to consult a dermatologist to confirm the cause of allergy. There is a test for determining nickel allergy called “dimethylgloxime spot test”. The treatment will be based on the result.

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