Got fulfilled your long awaited dream of getting your body pierced, but experiencing itchiness and uneasiness in the area? Metal allergy is a common clinical condition faced by people. It is nothing but a hypersensitive reaction shown by the body against certain metals. Metals like nickel, chromium and cobalt are the common metals that cause allergy in people. Research shows that metal allergy is commonly seen in women than in men because of the use of jewellery by women containing nickel alloys. With metal to be found in most of the items and appliances used at home, it becomes an issue of concern. The question that remains unanswered is how a sufferer can deal with metal allergy? What is the long term impact of metal allergy? This article tries to answer these questions by bringing forth the causes, symptoms and treatment of metal allergy to get more clarity on this clinical condition.
Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Metal Allergy
Metal Allergy Causes
- Jewellery containing traces of nickel is the main cause of metal allergy.
- Body piercing is another common cause of metal allergy in a person. The constant contact of metal with the body due to body piercing causes the body to develop sensitivity to certain metals.
- Other factors or causes of metal allergy are the use of belts, cigarette lighters, dental plates, joint replacements, needles, pins, zippers, eyelash curlers, cigarettes and antiperspirants that contains traces of metals.
- Soil and sea water are the natural sources that might cause metal allergy in a person, due to metal content in them.
Symptoms Of Metal Allergies
Itching is the most common of all and the mildest form of metal allergy symptom that a person might face. A person can experience mild to moderate itching with no other physical symptoms.
Redness is another common symptom that will accompany itchiness in a person suffering from metal allergy. The sufferer can see skin turning red with itchy sensation in areas where the skin comes in contact with some metal.
Rashes can also be seen over areas in contact with metal of any kind. The person can experience mild to severe rashes which can lead to oozing blisters and broken skin.
Itchiness can also lead to swelling in these areas. Applying ice pack can give some relief from this discomfort.
Metal allergy can also cause blisters on the skin of a person. If skin’s contact with metal is not controlled after first few symptoms of an allergic reaction, it will lead to the formation of blisters on the affected area.
Skin sensitive to metal can also get crusty and scaly with continuous use of metal jewellery. If you see your skin turning scaly, you should immediately consult your doctor.
With frequent and prolonged use of metals the skin might also start to darken. You might even experience cracks on the skin as it starts to dry out.
Treatment Of Metal Allergy
- Start using plastic jewellery, jewellery made out of stainless steel, platinum, titanium or 18 karat gold that do not contain nickel in it.
- Shift to items made out of wood, plastic, paper or other fabric instead of using metallic items at home.
- If you experience shoe dermatitis, make sure to change your shoe and socks frequently.
- Always make sure to wear protective clothing at home or when going out that will keep the joints secure.
- If you use gloves while riding or in winter, make sure that they are waterproof.
- Try and avoid latex in any form because it is the most common allergen and can worsen the situation for you.
- If you are fond of metals and don’t want to do away with them, coat them with nail polish and cover with tape. This will keep them away from your skin.
- If your skin is vulnerable to metals, check the ingredients of all the products you buy for metal content. Avoid purchasing products that have metal.