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Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Tests For Nickel Allergy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Allergies are a very common occurrence and can have a mild to significant impact on your comfort levels as well as your work and personal environments. An allergy is primarily an instance when the body reacts imperfectly when it comes in contact with a substance that is known to be harmless and does not draw any reaction in most people. Suffering from a nickel allergy can be quite frustrating because of the fact that nickel is widely used in the manufacture of jewelry items as well as watchbands and eye glass frames - thereby causing a reaction to develop in individuals that suffer from the allergy. Nickel allergy is known to affect people of all ages, although studies have shown that the condition will usually develop later on in life - after the individual has been excessively exposed to items that contain nickel.

Tests Recommended

When you visit your doctor or dermatologist, he or she will perform a nickel allergy test to confirm the root cause of the complication. The medical test is performed by the doctor placing a set of patches that are coated with different allergens onto your skin and covering them with a sticky backing sheet.

These patches are left on your skin for a day or two and, when removed, the area of the skin that has reacted to the patch placed directly on top of it is indicative of what chemical you are allergic to. In the event no allergy shows up after having performed this patch test, another second test known as the 'common allergen test' maybe performed.

Causes

As mentioned before, jewelry and body piercings are known to be the most common nickel allergy causes all over the world. Keys, dental fillings, tools, cell phones, alkaline batteries and pens are all known to contain some amount of nickel filling as well - thus making all of them likely contributors to the development of a reaction on the skin.

Symptoms

Understanding and being able to identify the various nickel allergy symptoms will go a long way into helping you identify and diagnose the condition properly. Because of the fact that there are so many different types of skin irritants that can cause a reaction, most allergies can be hard to diagnose correctly. When the allergy starts to take control and develop further, the individual is likely to notice a rash or bumps on the skin around the region where the body came in contact with the nickel. The skin will usually start to itch rather severely as well while there is also a change in the coloration of the skin - causing it to become redder. Blisters and drainage of fluid is also likely to develop around the affected area. In the event that the rash has developed in an area where you tend to sweat excessively, the rash is likely to get worse much faster. One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when suffering from allergies is to ignore the symptoms and simply carry on with their lives. However, because of the fact that they do not know the root cause of the problem, they will continue wearing the rings or jewelry that has caused the reaction in the first place - thereby causing significant discomfort. As a result, it is highly recommended that you visit a doctor as soon as you start to develop the symptoms.

Treatment

Given the fact that nickel allergies are usually the result of wearing too much cheap jewelry over long periods of time, it is highly recommended that you avoid using such merchandise. There are a number of nickel allergy treatment options as well as home remedies that you could use to help reduce the impact that the condition has on your body. For instance, one of the most highly recommended home remedies for the treatment of nickel allergies is to rub some calamine lotion on the affected area of the skin in order to reduce the itching and calm the irritated skin significantly. Once this has been done, you should then apply some cortisone cream that contains aloe - which is known to have a substantially positive effect when it comes to dealing with skin irritations. These should work together to reduce any pain and irritation you experience in the area - thereby allowing the rash to subside over the course of the next few days.

Another very highly recommended home remedy is to take a single teaspoon of lime juice and another teaspoon of water; both added to a tablespoon of crushed poppy seeds and apply it over the affected area of the skin. Because of the anti inflammatory properties of lime juice, you can also try squeezing some unadulterated lime juice over the affected area of the skin in order to provide relief from the skin allergy. Avoid scratching the affected area despite how tempting it is to do so as this could cause some kind of infection to develop.

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