Blog - Allergy Care Ayurveda


Nickel Allergy

Nickel is a hard, silver-white metal found typically in nature. It is malleable and cost-effective, making it easy to work with. It is usually blended with different metals to make different things. For instance, beautifying products and contact lens solutions may also contain metals that can trigger an allergic response at the point of contact. Additionally, small amounts of nickel are present in numerous foods, including certain grains, organic products, and vegetables. It is also found in dental restorative material, prostheses (hip, knee, cochlear and cardiac implants),color pigments, stainless steel cutlery, pots and pans.

The exact reason for a nickel sensitivity isn’t known. However, analysts believe that the sensitivity to nickel may  be hereditary, that is, acquired from a family member. In contrast to immediate hypersensitivities, (for example, dust, insect venom and food sensitivities), the reaction  in  nickel allergy is deferred type i.e. it happens some time after the exposure. Following the contact with  an allergen, it can take 24 to 72 hours before the principal symptoms show up. This ‘delay’ is caused by what are called as helper T cells (medicinal term: T-lymphocytes). Helper T cells plays an essential role in the immune system and are found in the lymph nodes and inner layers of the skin. Their function is to ensure against certain infections. They append to foreign substances and activate other cells in the immune system to devastate the foreign  substances. The so-called memory T cells are then framed. These cells remember precisely which invaders  are unwanted so that they can respond quicker in case of re-exposure. In a contact hypersensitivity, the helper T cells probably remember a harmless substance like nickel. Just in case if the skin is again re-exposed  to the ecological substance, the helper T cells will transform in the upper skin layers and cause a provocative response.

If earrings irritates your ear auricle or your necklet leaves a rash around your neck, you may be susceptible to nickel. A nickel sensitivity is a response that develops after repeated and prolonged exposure to nickel containing items. Degree of allergic reaction varies from person to person. Individual can be exposed to nickel through regular things, or one might be exposed to nickel in the working environment condition.  Excess exposure to nickel makes the skin red and irritated at first – later on tiny blisters can show up, making the skin wet and messy. The skin may then strip off. The rashes can start in one part or at different parts of the body in the meantime. It is feasible for the rash to spread later on to even that body parts which haven’t come into contact with the metal. If the symptoms remains on the skin for the long time, the skin will dry out and ended up being red,scaly and  very hard to clear up.

Your specialist may presume metal hypersensitivities based on the combination of your own personal history and your signs and symptoms. To determine possible causes of nickel exposure, your specialist may ask if you have any kind of implants, if you smoke, or if  you routinely use any beautifying products. Beside a careful individual history, your specialist may  arrange lab tests to affirm whether you have a nickel allergy. These tests involves blood test in  laboratory. The laboratory specialists will test the white blood cells for their activity against metal(nickel) ions by utilizing radioisotopes and microscopically observing physical changes within the cells. If the test demonstrates that the white blood cells have increased activity when exposed to the nickel ions, it shows the presence of a nickel allergy.

A dermatologist can conduct a nickel  sensitivity test in which they expose various nickel ions to your skin to test for a hypersensitivity response. This sensitivity test is also known as”patch test.”. During  the patch test, your specialist applies a little amount of nickel over a patch. The patch is then set on your skin. This test is usually very safe and shouldn’t cause a major allergic response. They should only cause a minor reaction in individuals who are sensitive to nickel. Your specialist will observe your skin for around 48 hours after the patch test and check for signs of an unfavorably susceptible response. If the skin looks irritated, you might be adversely affected by nickel.

How can you prevent the nickel hypersensitivity? The best strategy to prevent a nickel sensitivity from developing is to avoid prolonged exposure to things containing nickel. However, it’s not always easy to keep away from nickel since it is present in huge numbers of items. Home test kits are available to check for nickel in the metal items. The following tips may help you to avoid nickel exposure:

·        Wear hypoallergenic jewelery. It’s normal for a nickel hypersensitivity to develop by wearing adornments containing nickel. Earrings, ear backs and watches are probably the greatest culprits; however, jewelry, rings and bracelets containing nickel can trigger the side effects. To avoid nickel exposure, wear jewelery that is without nickel and is hypoallergenic. Likewise, wear watchbands made of up of leather, cloth  or plastic.

·        Check your clothing. Belt buckles, brassiere hooks, metal buttons and zippers contain nickel. If your garments has these, supplant them with the ones that are plastic-coated. You can also create a boundary between these items and your skin by coating the items with clear nail polish. However, the nail polish will need to be re-applied often.

·        Cover gadgets. Some electronic gadgets, including phones, laptops, and tablets, may contain nickel. To avoid nickel exposure, always use a protective cover on your electronic gadgets.

·        Substitute household objects containing nickel with products made of other materials.

·        Avoid foods containing nickel if you are extremely sensitive to nickel. Some foods that contain high amount of nickel incorporate soya products, for example, soyabeans, soya sauce, and tofu –licorice, buckwheat, cocoa powder, cashews and figs.

·        Create a barrier between nickel and you if you have to be exposed to nickel at your workplace. Wearing gloves may help.

·        Tell your orthodontist about your nickel allergy before getting an orthodontic braces.

·        Ask an ophthalmologist if eyeglasses contain nickel before buying them.

·        Tell doctors about a nickel allergy before undergoing any surgeries.

There is no cure for nickel hypersensitivity. The best way to prevent allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen. Several medications including topical steroids, antibiotics may help to treat a rash that results from nickel allergic reaction. Some home cures may relieve and  calm the skin. These incorporate calamine lotion, hydrating body moisturizer; cool and wet packs. If medications don’t soothe your symptoms, consult your specialists as soon as possible.


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