After The Party's Over

The Christmas tree stands strangely ignored, guests have come and gone, we still feel a little stuffed with shared meals, chocolate, and cookies. The gifts that were exchanged are starting to go into use - so take a minute and consider whether any of those things might contain nickel, and what you can do about it.

New cell phones and other electronics seem to come around during the holidays, as regularly as Gingerbread cookies.  So if you have a new electronic gadget, take time to get a good case for it. The metal on the casing certainly contains nickel, and you don't need it on your hands or close to your face.  Standard phone cases (the type you buy separately) made of plastic or leather should be fine. At least the current phones and tablets don't have metal buttons - but if you're still toting one of those older models around, consider how your face rubs against the nickel-plated keys as you talk. I won't "tell" you to upgrade, but avoiding those buttons is one of the advantages.

If you have new clothing, for yourself, or for your kids, you may want to do a once-over for zippers, snaps, or other metal attachments that may rub against your skin. It's a good time to do the nail-polish treatment on the insides of snaps, buckles, and grommets. Buckles on shoes and boots, zippers on bags, metal latches on anything at all - they all deserve consideration if they touch your skin. A clear nail polish coating can help in cases like this, though it does have to be re-painted from time to time.
I'm still not quite sure what to do with zippers, but often, it's often the pull tab on the zipper that is the real problem. Just attach a cute bead or zipper-pull attachment, which you can buy for this purpose, and you'll be good to go.

And then there's the jewelry. This is my chance to say again to moms and dads everywhere - DON'T put those cheap cards of a dozen shiny earrings from the dollar rack into your precious child's stocking. You'll be buying her a nickel allergy that lasts the rest of her life. Once you think this through, you'll never be tempted again.

Related to other jewelry gifts, though, things can be a bit more complicated. As much as we have tried to suggest what to give, and to teach our families about our nickel allergy, some nickel-containing jewelry still sneaks in. This is not always "cheap" jewelry, but can even include Gold up to (about) 10K, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel, or plated jewelry. As awkward as it can be, if you need to exchange or refund a gift, your loving family member will probably understand and be happy to help.

But sometimes an exchange just isn't feasible, or far too much time has already passed. If the offending jewelry is a pair of earrings on dangle earwires, the earwires can, in fact be replaced with nickel-free ones. By the way, I never recommend coating jewelry (earrings, in particular) with nail polish or other crafty-sounding coatings, which just introduce more potential irritants into your body. Nickel-free options are available, which is the very reason I offer Interchangeable Earwires in my shop, for your consideration.

I do hope your holidays have been fabulous so far, and that many more good things await you in the new year. Celebrate with style, and as always, with rash-free skin.


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