Women are very fond of jewelry and enjoy wearing them. But unfortunately, few of us develop sensitivity towards metals used for making them, and suffer from allergic reaction whenever we wear our favorite piece. Go through this article to learn about jewelry allergy and its treatment.
Women love to adorn themselves with jewelry at weddings, parties, social gatherings, and even regularly. They love to show off their delicate pieces to everyone around, to gather attention and appreciation. But some women are not fortunate enough to wear their favorite jewelry simply because they are allergic to it. If you also face this problem, here is the reason behind developing such a reaction and how it can be treated in sensitive individuals.
Nickel is a metal with a silvery-white color and is often used in combination with other metals to make alloys. Stainless steel is the most visible example of nickel alloy wherein iron and nickel are used in combination to form stainless steel. Nickel is also used to make jewelry, hairpins, buttons, and several other items that we use in our daily life. It is used to provide stability and toughness to soft metals and is one of the major reasons behind jewelry allergy.
Causes of Jewelry Allergy
Nickel is one of the prime causes of jewelry allergy. With body piercing gaining popularity these days, the incidence of this problem is rising to a great extent. The appearance of allergic reaction can be within a few minutes of contact with the metal or after many instances of contact. The occurrence of the reaction varies from person to person and can develop at any age. Another reason behind allergy is latex. It is sometimes used to make non-metal charms for a jewelry piece. Allergic reactions can occur due to solvents used for latex production or latex itself. It must be kept in mind that latex-specific reactions are far serious than nickel-specific reactions.
Allergic skin reaction caused due to nickel is referred to as contact dermatitis, i.e., inflammation of the skin. Other symptoms include redness of the skin and itchy feeling. This may further increase in severity to form blisters on the affected area, which may break to form thick scales and crust. The skin may gain a dark, leathery appearance after some days of the reaction. The allergy is usually caused at the site of contact with the metal, but sometimes the reaction may occur at other places as well.
Nickel allergy is confirmed using skin patch test. In this test, the dermatologist uses a hypoallergenic tape to apply allergens on the upper back of the person and leaves it as it is for 48 hours. After the stipulated time period, the person revisits the doctor, who checks for the development of allergic reaction due to specific allergens. A person with nickel allergy will reflect hypersensitivity to nickel within 2 days. On confirmation of the allergen, treatment is provided.
A person with jewelry allergy has to bear it life-long. An allergic reaction is usually treated using a corticosteroid cream which is applied topically on the affected region. In severe cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics if an infection is developed. Allergy causes extreme tingling sensation in the affected area, but a person must resist the temptation of scratching as it may lead to infection.
Following preventive measures should be undertaken for jewelry allergy.
- Use 18K gold studs for piercing ears and avoid wearing any other metal jewelry until the skin has healed completely.
- Wear solid gold or sterling silver jewelry to avoid allergic reaction due to nickel.
- Use earring sleeves to avoid the contact of earrings with the skin.
- Wear hypoallergenic jewelry made up of titanium, gold, or surgical steel in case you are sensitive to other metals.
- If you are wearing a piece of jewelry regularly, you can ask the jeweler to coat it with platinum which is a non-allergic metal.
Jewelry allergy is a cause of serious concern among women as they are the ones most interested in wearing them. If you suffer from it, stick to wearing pure gold and silver ornaments to avoid development of allergic reaction, or simply wear jewelry which is tagged hypoallergenic. In this way, you will be able to fulfill your wish of wearing your favorite jewelry pieces without any worry!