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Could that rash be a metal allergy?

March 23, 2010 · 72 comments

in Health & Fitness

Many people are allergy to Nickel, as it is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis.  Sometimes the new piece of jewelry is easy to determine as the culprit.  You buy a new bracelet and the next thing you know, you have a very uncomfortable rash around your wrist.

However, the cause of a new rash is not always so obvious.  Sometimes a metal allergy can appear after prolonged exposure.  The rash can also show up somewhere other than where you are wearing the jewelry.   When that is the case, it can be hard to figure out what is going on.

Take my situation for instance.  I developed a rash on my forehead that would not go away.  The Dermatologist gave me medicine, but nothing helped.  Then one day, it was almost gone.  The  only thing that coincided with its disappearance is that I hadn’t been wearing my wedding ring for awhile.  I kept the ring off, and the rash was gone.  I found that kind of surprising since I had been wearing that ring for 10 years.   I started doing some research, and came across the following from a dermatology website:

Gold is a relatively inert metal and not easily solubilized. However, a number of cases demonstrate that gold can cause dermatitis at sites distant from the gold object. In fact, because of an increasing awareness of gold’s importance as an allergen, it was named contact allergen of the year in 2001. A study by the NACDG in the study period 1996-1998 evaluated contact dermatitis to gold. This study found that the face and eyelids were involved in approximately one in four patients allergic to gold.

So, if you have a mysterious rash (mine was not even very itchy) that won’t seem to go away, try to go without jewelry for a little and see what happens.  Its easy to do, and not harmful in the least.  In addition, if you do suspect you have an allergy to metals, consult with your doctor.  There are tests that can be done, and then you can get information on how to deal with the allergy in the future, especially since nickel is also in some foods. (Just think, if you are allergic, you won’t have to spend anymore time or money buying gold online!)

Now I just need to figure out a gift my husband should buy me to replace that wedding ring!  🙂

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Privat Krankenversicherung April 16, 2010 at 4:15 am

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Kevin@InvestItWisely December 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I get rashes from plastic watches, but my current stainless steel one seems to be alright. 🙂


european river cruises August 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

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Hilary August 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

My favorite time a jewelry are cubic zirconia wedding rings… I just think they are so beautiful! But I do notice that they do give me a little bit of a rash…


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