Have you ever had any symptom of sudden itchiness when wearing a precious metal accessory, such as a necklace or pierced earrings?
Having those sudden symptoms, aren’t you ever worried about a possibility of metal allergy?
If you have ever had those symptoms caused by metallic accessories, your skin may have developed an allergic reaction against that particular metal.
Sudden onset of metal allergy symptoms can be observed even with those who have never had these symptoms before.
Now you are increasingly concerned about the specific symptoms of metal allergies, and the cause of the sudden developments. Here you can find out all the details!
- 1 1.Symptoms of Metal Allergies
- 2 ２.Causes of metal allergy
- 3 3.Other causes of metal allergies than wearing accessories or jewelries
- 4 4.Materials more likely to cause metal allergies and those much less likely to cause metal allergies
- 5 5.Get into the habit of wiping your accessories after use
- 6 6.Have yourself tested for metal allergy at hospital
- 7 ７．Summary
1.Symptoms of Metal Allergies
When you have metal allergy, maybe you have not realized it without checking. So, you keep using the metal in question. Then, the symptoms will deteriorate and will cause allergic reaction, which has some harmful effects on your skin.
Specific symptoms of metal allergy
●After removing your necklace, you found a “reddish mark”, around your neck, formed along the shape of the necklace.
● While wearing a metal watch/ ring, you “felt itchy” on your wrist/finger.
●You noticed a “rash” on the part of the skin in contact with the metal.
●While wearing pierced earrings, you felt a hot and “tingling“ sensation on your ears.
●You experienced some “pain” on your ears while wearing pierced earrings.
As the name suggests, metallic allergy refers to metal contact dermatitis when the skin is exposed to metals in the form of accessories, etc.
Once some direct skin contact to the metal triggers your allergic reaction, it will almost never be cured and your skin continuously reacts to that particular metal every time it is exposed to it. So, next time you wear the metallic product, you will get the allergic reaction again.
Therefore, it is advisable to see a dermatologist immediately after you have the symptom.
Left untreated, the symptoms of metal allergy will deteriorate. Starting with the visual symptoms like an increasingly growing redness of your skin, the symptom gradually develops into abnormal skin sensations such as itching (rash), painful, or hot and tingling ones.
２.Causes of metal allergy
Metal allergy is caused by skin penetration of melted metal composition.
Metal allergy tends to develop during the hot season due to frequent sweating.
This is because the metal composition has become likely to melt due to the heat during the hot season.
Another cause can be metal deterioration. If you use, for instance, a metallic necklace for a long time, the metal composition deteriorates in time and becomes likely to melt.
When the melted metal composition penetrates into the skin, the antibody against the foreign objects (metals) will develop in your body to get rid of them.
Once your body recognizes that particular metal as a foreign object, it will continuously refuse to accept it.
And this is the metal allergy.
The symptoms of metal allergy vary among individuals, and this is because we all differ in the permissible amount of foreign objects (metals).
Wearing pierced earrings has a high risk of developing metal allergy.
This is because, unlike necklaces, pierced earrings have a direct contact with your raw skin when your ears get pierced.
As your subcutaneous tissues are directly exposed to the metal, the risk of the metal infiltrating the body increases dramatically.
Once an allergic reaction occurs as a result of pierced earrings, it may develop into bleeding or may be infected with pus, in serious cases.
We suggest that you stop wearing the responsible metallic products while you are feeling uncomfortable; NOT AFTER these serious symptoms appear and start to deteriorate!
3.Other causes of metal allergies than wearing accessories or jewelries
Apart from accessories and jewelries, there are other products to induce metal allergy.
For instance, an eyelash curler, which is one of many makeup items, may cause the appearance of rough skin around your eyes.
If you have any symptom that the skin around your eyes becomes itchy or reddish after you use your eyelash curler, it is the metallic part of the product touching your eyes that causes the metal allergy.
In that case, try to choose and use an eyelash curler without any metallic part which is in direct contact with your skin.
Also, metallic allergy can be caused by a silver crown or filling put on your tooth by a dentist.
In this case, metallic composition of the silver crown in your mouth are gradually released and spread around your body, causing metal allergy.
This may cause chronic symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis on your hands, legs or even all over your body.
There are many cases reported where those symptoms, such as a rush, simply disappeared after having the silver crown or filling removed.
If you are suffering from any chronic allergic symptoms while you do not wear any metallic accessories like a necklace, see a doctor as soon as possible.
4.Materials more likely to cause metal allergies and those much less likely to cause metal allergies
Among many kinds of metals, nickel is considered to be the most likely to cause metal allergy.
Due to its low price, nickel is frequently used as a material of accessories. Therefore, nickel in the form of those products often comes into contact with us.
Nickel is easily affected by sweat, and easier to melt than other metals. These factors contribute to the high incidence rate of metal allergy. In fact, nickel is quoted number one on the list of materials prone to metal allergy.
Other materials likely to develop allergies are as follows:
and so on.
On the other hand, materials much less likely to cause metal allergies include the following.
These materials are much less likely to cause metal allergies, and it is advisable for those suffering from metallic allergies to choose the above-mentioned materials.
If you have sensitive skin, however, there are some cases where you may develop allergic reactions even to the materials less likely to cause metal allergies. So we need to be careful.
Metallic materials used may differ depending on the types of accessories, such as rings, necklaces or pierced earrings.
5.Get into the habit of wiping your accessories after use
After wearing accessories, make sure to wipe them with care by using a clean towel or tissue paper, etc.
Especially in the hot season when you feel sweaty, just be careful. If you leave the metallic accessories without cleaning after use, it causes bacteria to grow, resulting in metal deterioration.
It is important to maintain the metals you wear in a clean condition, which will be useful in preventing skin from becoming rough.
6.Have yourself tested for metal allergy at hospital
If you would like to find out more about your metal allergens, visit a hospital and have your skin patch-tested.
A patch test is used to find allergic causes, and you will know what metals you can wear. After that, you can wear precious metals with confidence.
Patch testing process at hospitals
1. Allergens are applied to patches, which are then placed on your skin. The patches stay in place undisturbed for some time.
2. After a few days, visit the hospital again and have the patches removed.
3. Your skin is observed for signs of an allergic reaction.
Irritated skin at the patch site with positive reactions will indicate an allergy that you have.
When your skin shows positive reactions to the patch test, the skin under the patch becomes itchy and turns red. But do not worry. Medication will be prescribed to heal the affected skin.
Once you know whether your symptom is caused by metal allergy, you can choose the right kind of precious metals you can wear to prevent the allergic symptoms.
If you continue to wear the precious metal even though you have allergic symptoms to that particular metal, it further deteriorates the condition.
To protect your own skin, choose and wear the right precious metals to suit your skin conditions.
This article was last updated on April 28h, 2016
No two individuals are alike. Please note that your results and experiences may vary from what is described in this article.