How to Conquer Your Nickel Allergy

Posted on 16 March 2016Earrings How to Nickel Allergy Recommended Products

I love receiving questions from my customers asking for help on how to overcome an issue with their jewellery. My next couple of Blogs in particular, will be addressing direct problems that have been put to me and I'm sure many of you out there have experienced; as I know I have!

Nickel allergy. I've never been tested for this, but I'm pretty sure it is the reason that I can't wear post earrings, or I have one ear swell up like a cherry tomato. Why just the one? I have no idea. What I do know after researching this online, is that it is a hugely common problem for many people at varying degrees. Some people will have a mild reaction and others more severe, and so the treatment and methods of control are different for everyone.

What are the Symptoms?

Without going into too much detail about the allergy itself, basically it is described as being one of the most common allergies as nickel is in so many things : jewellery, mobile phones, coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, belt buckles and keys. Symptoms can break out within 12 - 24 hours of contact, they include itching, redness, rash, dry patches, swelling of the skin, which is sometimes followed by blisters.

So what do you do to control it?

I'm going to focus on jewellery right now, some of these methods may be useful for other items. REMEMBER, your skin sensitivity is different to mine and the next person; what works for one may not work for you. It's about testing things until you find your match. Here are some methods that I have discovered through forum discussions, product reviews and medical websites, that may help you...

Avoid Nickel in the First Instance

If you want to invest in pieces that you will not react to, go for stainless steel, surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, 18-karat yellow gold, or nickel-free 14-karat yellow gold, sterling silver, copper and platinum. Some jewellery items are now marked "Nickel Free" making shopping so much easier. If you go to Jeweller's that manufacture their own jewellery, they will know the base metal that is used in their pieces; however, Jewellers that buy in their products from a third party may not have any idea what is under the plating. Ask the question; know what you are getting.

Get Your Prized Pieces Re-Plated

If you can afford it, take your fine jewellery item, such as a ring or earrings that you wear on a daily basis and ask your Jeweller to re-plate them with a metal you will not react to, ie. platinum.

Create a Barrier

This is where we get into products that could help you, particularly if your preference is costume jewellery.

Antibiotic Cream

This is stuff that you purchase from your Chemist and Supermarkets that can help heal your ears/other body parts when they get infected. For some, simply putting your earring posts into some Antibiotic cream or applying it to the body part that will come in contact with the Nickel, is enough of a barrier for one day's wear, and could prevent a reaction in the first place.

Skintifique Nickel Protective Cream

This cream is specially formulated to provide a barrier between the Nickel item and skin. It does not contain any parabens, silicons, dimethicon, fragrances, mineral oils, EDTA, or Lanolin. It is said to have been extensively tested, lasts 8 -12 hours and provides moisturizing and soothing relief. Customer reviews suggest that works well and is perfect to keep in your handbag for use at any time.

Nickel Solution
This 2-part kit allows you to first test for the presence of Nickel with a "Nickel Alert" test (completely safe on your expensive/cheap jewellery), and then apply 2-3 coats of "Nickel Guard" to your item. It is suggested by customers that have reviewed this, that if you are wearing the item daily, you need to reapply the coating weekly to maintain the protection. Some also suggest it is "no different to using Nail Polish with the added benefit of being able to test for Nickel". However, the Nickel Guard is said to have been specifically developed for persons with nickel allergy and sensitive skin. It does not contain Toluene, Formaldehyde or Dibutyl phthalate which are often found in many Nail Polishes, are toxic and can cause secondary dermatitis or allergic reactions. You are also able to buy a twin pack of just the Nickel Guard without the Nickel Alert test and vice versa.

Jewelry Shield
Works the same as the Nickel Guard. Whilst the product claims that one application will last 3 months, customer reviews suggest that if you are wearing the item on a daily basis (ie. a ring), you will need to re-apply weekly. It seems to work for most people; again people suggested it seemed just like Nail Polish. The ingredients I found listed in the online description were Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Xylene, and Resins.

If you have an tried and tested methods to conquer the Nickel allergy problem, please share with a comment below; I'm sure readers would be very grateful. Thanks!

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Comments (2)

Natalie·04 April 2016 - 09:23pmThanks for the feedback Martha. I'm sure readers appreciate hearing that this product has worked for you; so glad you found a solution. Kindest, Natalie

Martha·04 April 2016 - 01:09amDear Natalie! I could wear my clip earrings only for a short moment due to my nickel allergy. But thanks to your research I tried "jewelry shield" and now I can wear them for several hours without any problem! It really works! So many many thanks!

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