We have to admit that many of us often wear metal jewelry. Therefore, women are more likely to develop an allergy to metal than men.
Today we will tell you more about how this allergy occurs and how we can avoid it.
In the majority of cases, the allergic reaction from the metal does not carry with it serious consequences, it may result in itching, irritation, and pain.
What is the reason for the allergy to metals?
Until recently, doctors could not give a definite answer to this question. A recent study showed that in the development of allergies participate the T-cells of our immune system. Experts from the University in Sendai, Japan proved that people who suffer from bacterial infections are more likely to develop an allergy to metal. If such people are in contact during infection, this could increase the allergy and it can begin to occur more frequently in the future.
Some of the most widespread metals – allergens are nickel, cobalt, and chromium. Copper, zinc, lead, and silver cause allergies much more rarely. According to statistics, nickel is an allergen for 17% of women and 5% of men, and cobalt and chromium for 1% to 3% of the world population.
The main source of allergies is nickel and its alloys which are often used in jewelry for hiding imperfections on the surface of the jewelry. The nickel makes them more glamorous.
Especially dangerous is the wearing of jewelry with fake coverage. Even if at first glance they seem pure gold or silver, it is entirely possible for the coverage to be “diluted” with nickel. It most often occurs in products of white gold, silver, palladium, and zinc.
How to recognize an allergy from metal?
Allergies from metal belong to the contact allergies so that their reaction becomes visible within 24 hours after the contact of the metal with the skin. As a rule, the symptoms appear in a limited area of the body and if there is no new contact with the allergen, the unpleasant effects disappear in a few days.
The most common symptoms are:
• Irritation of the skin resembling eczema (contact dermatitis)
• Local redness
If your skin has had a long interaction with the metal – allergen, it is possible to tarnish and get rough. In the nickel, the allergic reaction can be hastened by sweat.
How to prevent it?
Undoubtedly the best way to protect ourselves from this type of allergy is to stop wearing jewelry and other objects causing adverse reactions. Some people mistakenly believe that if they continue to wear such ornaments, the body will get used to them and the allergy will disappear. This belief has nothing to do with reality.
There are special anti-allergy sprays that cover the metal and create a sort of barrier between the skin and it.
Their impact, however, diminishes with time. The cheaper method is to apply simple colorless nail polish to the problem jewel. Note, however, that you must necessarily consult a dermatologist at the onset of more serious symptoms.
It is essential to be vigilant when purchasing different metal elements that will be in close contact with your skin – jewelry, buttons, zippers, buckles, and more. Read their composition and note that the excessive amount of nickel in the metal often makes it very bright or white. It is desirable that the nickel not be present at all in the content of the product or its total content not exceed more than 0.05% of the total weight of the product.
The people allergic to nickel might be subjected to a special diet consisting of foods with a minimum amount of metal – allergen. It is recommended that they exclude from their menu cocoa powder, nuts, dark chocolate, shellfish, legumes (beans, soybeans, peas), and some grain crops (wheat and oat bran, oatmeal, soy flour, buckwheat, millet).