If you have a nickel allergy, you may have noticed itchy rashes in interesting places. For example, you develop a rash near your belly button that was caused by the button or snap on your jeans. Nickel allergy is often associated with jewelry, such as earrings, but it could be caused by many items that contain the metal, including eyeglass frames, zippers, cell phones, and coins. Nickel allergy may develop after long exposure or contact with something that contains the metal. Once you develop an allergy to nickel, you will always be sensitive to it.
An allergic reaction to nickel may not immediately manifest after contact. Rather, the symptoms may begin to manifest hours or days after exposure. The allergic reaction may last up to a month, appearing mostly in the area of the skin that came in contact with the metal. Nickel allergy symptoms include the following:
- Red and/or dry skin patches
- Blisters that may “weep” (ooze fluid)
If you see these symptoms, consult a Mesa allergy doctor. Your doctor can confirm the nickel allergy based on your health history and allergy testing. If you have already been diagnosed with nickel allergy, you can treat your allergy symptoms with prescription medications.
If your allergy worsens after you apply medications, talk to your doctor. You might experience increased redness, warmth, pain and discharge in the affected area. These are signs that your allergic reaction has turned into an infection.
Similar to other allergies, nickel allergy develops when the immune system views elements in the metal as harmful to the body and reacts by releasing histamines to fight it off. Even if you didn’t previously react to nickel, you could become sensitive to it after repeated exposure. The best way to prevent the allergy symptoms is to avoid contact with nickel or anything that contains the silvery-white metal.