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NICKEL ALLERGY

Nickel Allergy is an adverse immune response of the body when exposed to nickel products. Nickel is a silver-colored metal found naturally in the environment and is usually mixed with other metals to produce various items like coins and jewelry. The immune system naturally fights off harmful substance to defend the body. In this case, the immune system take Nickel mistakenly into virus or anything dangerous. In result, the immune system starts to produce chemicals that eventually triggers allergic reaction.

An allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) usually begins within hours to days after exposure to nickel and may include the following symptoms:

  • Rash or bumps on the skin
  • Severe itching
  • Redness or changes in skin color
  • Dry patches of skin that may resemble a burn
  • Blisters and draining fluid in severe cases
  • Warm, tender skin

In rare cases, a nickel allergy can also trigger problems in the respiratory system like:

  • Runny nose
  • Asthma
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal inflammation

DIAGNOSIS

Nickel allergy oftenly diagnosed based on the symptoms upon contact with any item containing Nickel. A patch test is often performed to confirm diagnosis. In this test, the doctor will apply a small amount of nickel over a patch and placed it on the skin. Changes in the skin may indicate allergy. Sometimes, patch tests aren’t clear enough so the doctor may order further tests to be sure.

 

TREATMENT

The best treatment is to avoid contact with Nickel. To help reduce skin irritation due to Nickel allergy, your doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Corticosteroid cream
  • Nonsteroidal cream
  • Oral corticosteroid (prednisone)
  • Oral antihistamine like fexofenadine (allegra) or cetirizine (zyrtec)

The following home treatments might also help:

  • Calamine lotion
  • Wet compresses
  • Moisturizing body lotion

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