Can Jewelry Make You Sick? : Nickel Allergy


Jewelry cannot make people sick by itself. Nevertheless, if the person has an allergy, yes then it could be even deadly for that person. Earrings, rings, necklaces can be very attractive to you. So, do you know the health hazards of these nickel-containing jewelry?

The variety of imitation jewelry and accessories also make them attractive because they are cheap. Allergic reactions are more common in counterfeit jewelry containing poor quality metals, aluminum, and nickel, but some people may experience allergies to silver and gold. Nickel is the leading cause of allergies. If the person using imitation jewelry is observed to have skin redness, burning, itching, watering, scarring, etc., the person may be allergic and sensitive to imitation products.

Jewelry allergy is an important skin reaction that turns our lives into a nightmare and manifests itself primarily with itching and redness. As some individuals show jewelry allergy at an anaphylactic shock level, it is necessary to have detailed information about jewelry allergy as well as other allergies.

Allergic reactions are more common in counterfeit jewelry containing poor quality metals, aluminum, and nickel, while some people may experience allergies to silver and gold. This situation is more common especially in jewelry made by immersion in cold water. Everyone has a genetic predisposition to a number of allergies. People may not be exposed to the substance they are allergic to at all and may not learn that they are allergic to this substance or may not be able to understand it because they have been exposed to the level that their body can tolerate.



Metal allergies are usually observed in women because they use jewelry more. It is less common in children and elderlies. However, among men, the incidence is increasing due to the increase in jewelry usage and occupational exposure. Jewelry curiosity increases the frequency of metal allergy in both men and women.

One of the most common allergies is jewelry allergy. Jewelry allergy is an allergic reaction of the skin that results from contact of a foreign substance with the skin. The most prominent element of jewelry allergy is the appearance of major symptoms shortly after contact with the product. The wide variety of jewelry mines and the individual responses of individuals to mines cause allergy to vary according to the mines. In other words, there are allergic bodies to silver, copper and imitation products as well as individuals who are allergic to gold jewelry.

Jewelry allergy is the allergic reaction of the skin after the contact of the metal or alloy that forms the jewelry to the skin of the individual. Of the so-called harmless metals; nickel, cobalt, chromium are known to cause allergic reactions. 90% of the jewelry is a large part of the skin in contact with the jewelry, 10% of the jewelry is reported to occur closely flowing.



Since the jewelry allergy has its own symptoms, it is not easy to overlook it. Although the symptoms are similar to those of eczema, there are other symptoms. Itching and redness occur in and around the body, especially in the contact area. The redness of the skin tissue progresses to puffy or cracks. Open wounds may occur in individuals with excessive allergic reactions. The individual may experience difficulties during breathing. Difficulty breathing and nasal congestion may occur. There could be successive sneezes. Watering may occur in the eyes.

Whether an individual is allergic to jewelry is usually determined by whether or not there is any reaction after the jewelry is used. If the individual shows some symptoms while using the jewelry, the individual may be thought to be allergic to the mineral or alloy that makes up that jewelry. Apart from this, besides using jewelry and learning by experience, the types of allergies can be revealed individually by performing detailed allergy tests.

Jewelry allergy reveals its findings in and around the area where the jewelry comes into contact with the skin. For example; metal hairpins on the scalp, while other jewelry on the area where the symptoms show.



Although there is no definite treatment for jewelry allergy, today, besides symptomatic treatment, preventive treatment is applied. In symptomatic treatment, applications are made to alleviate and eliminate allergy symptoms. If the allergic reaction is very severe, then the treatment procedure will vary according to situations.

The skin can tolerate a certain amount of contact. However, if this contact persists and the area remains moist, perspiration causes damage to the protective layer of the skin. With perspiration, a portion of the metal is absorbed and mixed into the circulation. This makes the allergic reaction much easier to develop. Perfume can also cause contact eczema. It can range from a dose to systemic eczema. For this, perfume should not be sprayed on the jewelry. The moist environment causes that metal to dissolve and absorb from the skin.

The part of jewelry allergy that is out of treatment but which is the fundamental solution for the formation of allergy is to avoid the use of jewelry made of metals and alloys that have already suffered from allergies and to avoid using jewelry belonging to the body parts that show allergic reactions. It is one of the types of allergy that should not be underestimated and never contrasted according to the symptoms of jewelry allergy. Therefore, after you realize that you are allergic, a doctor should be examined as soon as possible.

Some people cannot wear earrings. This is due to metal allergy. If you have itching and flushing when you wear earrings; this indicates that allergy to that metal is developing. As the earrings are insisted on, the wound expands, becomes irrigated and may become infected. Even an infection may develop. During this period, and if possible, the earring should never be worn.



Allergic reactions may also occur due to the metals in the piercing. This is around the navel if it is a piercing that is attached to the navel. Piercing is most commonly used in the ear and tongue. There is lymphatic circulation in these areas. In the case of infection, it can progress very quickly. The inside of the nose is a risky area. Because circulation is very close to the brain. Being on the lip may cause infections within the mouth. There are many different bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, the mouth is more dangerous.

People who want to use imitation, which is fake jewelry, that causes this kind of allergy to try to eliminate the risk of allergy by applying transparent nail polish on this jewelry. This is an option if the person is not allergic to nail polish. Because with the nail polish it becomes a barrier on the metal. In this way, that metal does not contact the skin.

People with metal allergies are generally recommended to use pure gold jewelry. It is not appropriate to use jewelry that is purchased cheaply from the looms. Metal allergies are sometimes seen under the navel. This is because the body shows very small reactions due to the metal buckle of the belt. In this case, it is necessary to wear combed as a barrier between the skin and the belt so that the metal part does not come into direct contact with the skin.



Allergenic metals are other than gold in jewelry cause redness, swelling, and tissue damage to the skin they come into contact with. Reactions usually occur a few hours after the jewelry contacts the ear, nose, lips, and tongue. Nickel is responsible for these reactions and reactions with metals such as cobalt and chromium can be observed.

Depending on the contact area of the accessory used, it is usually the most:

  • Seen on the scalp due to hairpin and metal comb.
  • Seen around the nose and ears due to the glasses frame and earrings.
  • Seen around neck and chest due to necklace, traveler, brooch, chain, and zipper.
  • Seen around arm due to bracelet, bangle, and watch.
  • Seen around the finger and hand due to ring, thimble, coin, and needle.
  • Due to the use of piercing; seen on ears, eyebrows, nose, lips, belly and around.
  • Allergies can occur around the hands, back and waist with the contact areas of the body relative to the metal accessories of clothes and bags, coin, belt buckle, trouser button, and punch.


Nickel Allergy


Many women who want to be stylish by completing their clothes with jewelry, prefer imitation jewelry. However, nickel, which is used extensively for imitation jewelry durability, can cause allergies, headaches, fatigue, and even cancer, according to a US study.

You may have a nickel allergy if your earrings, bracelets or necklaces itch your skin or cause a rash on your skin. Nickel allergy is one of the most common skin allergies because nickel is used in many things such as jewelry, cell phone, coin, zipper, eyeglass frames, belt buckles, and keys.

Nickel allergy is the main cause of metal allergies and is usually found in most of the jewelry as a basic substance. In addition to the jewelry, there is also a metal lighter, buttons, and clasps with nickel. Since moisture and wetness can cause the metal ions to be absorbed more easily by the skin, the problem is more severe in sweat-prone areas of the body.

Nickel is used to making everything from fashion jewelry to pens and paper clips, to bra snaps, batteries, coins, and even eyeglasses. It is one of the biggest causes of contact dermatitis in the world over. Nickel contact dermatitis causes either, mild itching and redness, or severe infections. If you are allergic to nickel, the only way to prevent allergic reactions is to prevent exposure.



Nickel allergies are something you develop, they are not something you are born with. Researchers blame such habits as biting paper clips and pens, and the surge of body piercing as part of the increase in allergic reactions to nickel. If you are allergic to nickel once, it lasts for a lifetime.

Symptoms usually occur 12 to 48 hours after contact with nickel. You may notice itching, redness, rash, spots, and swelling of the skin. Sometimes bubbles occur. These bubbles may get a blister, form a scab, and may appear flaky. If left untreated, your skin may look harder, more delicate and chapped. Most likely, the rash occurs only on the part where your skin comes into direct contact with nickel. In severe cases, the rash may spread and sweat may make the condition worse. If your skin becomes infected, inflammation occurs, and rashes are filled with pus. In this case, you will need medical attention.

If you have a nickel allergy, you can usually live your life like this. But there are ways of alleviating your symptoms. The most important thing you can do is to avoid contact with objects that can cause reactions. Topical steroids and antihistamines may be helpful for mild symptoms, but if your symptoms are very severe, oral steroids may also be added to your treatment. If your skin is cracked or swollen, if you have any metal immediately, you should remove it and consult your doctor to avoid infection.



If your ears, neck, wrist or other areas are allergic, you should remove your jewelry immediately. If you are using piercings, you should use sterile and stainless steel products, as they may contain nickel and cause bacterial infections.

You should make sure your jewelry is made of high-quality stainless steel or 24-carat yellow gold. White gold includes 9 and 18-carat gold nickel. Other nickel-free metals include pure silver, copper, platinum, and titanium. You can even use polycarbonate plastic.

You should pay attention to purchase eyeglass frames made of titanium or plastic. Be sure to choose a bra or laundry made of plastic, buttons or fasteners made of plastic, coated or painted metal. If your clothes have nickel items, make sure they are plastic or plastic coated.

You should wear a watch strap made of leather, fabric or plastic. If the jewelry you wear or should wear every day, such as a wedding ring, causes an allergic reaction, it may be coated with a less allergic metal such as platinum. You can ask a jeweler about it.

If rashes become infected or itchy when recurrent nickel allergy develops, the area may be irritated and permanent spots may form on the skin. Although cosmetic laser methods are used for the treatment of such stains, the skin may not always be restored.

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Savaş Ateş

I like reading books. I like to read about jewelry too. After reading a lot of books about it, I have started to visit jewelry manufacturers and stores. It is my number 1 hobby.

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