About Your Nickel Allergy

Duckbill Glass Drops with Niobium Earwires
Nickel Allergies affect up to 40% of women and an increasing number of men too. It's one of those every day inconveniences that can affect you in more ways than you expected. 

Piercings are more popular than ever, and creates a prime situation for nickel allergies to start or be discovered.  Any kind of piercing, for any age or gender. A fresh jewelry piercing is a fresh wound. If you put something against it, whatever is in it can go straight to your bloodstream.  Nickel is a known allergen, but continues to be used in a variety of fashion jewelry, or as a hardener in more expensive jewelry alloys. If your earrings or other jewelry has nickel, it becomes possible for an allergy to develop, and begin to show itself over time. 

I was perfectly aware when I started having a reaction to jewelry – it was when my ears got red, pussy, and scaly. Perhaps I was not the most alert teenager in the world in this regard, but I stubbornly believed that if I just stuck with it, the reaction would go away. I did wonder why this problem showed up after I had already been wearing earrings for over a year, but in the end I gave up earrings cheerfully. 

What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t done with the rash. A couple of years later I noticed that my neck itched where my necklaces touched it. My wrist itched and would turn red if I wore a bracelet or a watch. I knew very well that my little problem was still with me, but I still did not know what to call it. Over time, I could not wear belts with a buckle or jeans with a snap. This was an inconvenience gone bad. 

I’m telling you this because during all this time I still didn’t have a name for my experience, and I didn’t know Nickel was the problem. I thought it was just some weird problem I was stuck with that nobody else had. Almost everyone I have met with a nickel allergy thinks they are the only one. They also call it by any term that makes sense to them, like "jewelry allergy" or "jewelry rash." As for me, at some point in college I saw a dermatologist and this was the first time I ever heard the term “Nickel Allergy.” 

For some people with a nickel allergy, it can interfere with their choice in glasses, wedding rings, blue jeans, or shoes. It can even get so bad for a few people that it affects the pans they cook in, or the food they eat. It becomes a medical issue because doctors are known for operating on people, and sometimes when they do, they put metal parts in to hold you together. Do you really want your doctor not to know you have an allergy to nickel? Allergies do get worse over time if you continue to be exposed, and staying entirely away from nickel is not quite as simple as it might seem. It is worth knowing what you are putting on and in your body every single day.

For me, making jewelry was a natural side effect of not knowing what else I could wear. Besides being fun to do, it represents a personal victory of sorts, at understanding my body a little better. Of course I can’t provide all the needs you will have in order to avoid nickel, but I can help to shed a little light on this rather common problem. There is nothing wrong with your body. Your body is naturally beautiful and your skin is naturally clear. When the things you are wearing or using on your body are causing you pain, you can become informed,and you can take control. You can even dare to wear jewelry, without worry.

**If you think you have a nickel allergy you should see your doctor to make sure it is not something more serious.


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