What Is Metal Allergy? How Come?

If you suffer from metal allergies, you might know that touching coins, jewelry, and even doorknobs can trigger a reaction, known as allergic dermatitis. But it might surprise you to find out that metals may hide in other items you come in contact with every day.

skin allergies
skin allergies


It helps to understand what happens when your body comes in contact with a metal to which you’re allergic. “Metal allergies are similar to any other type of allergic reaction,” says Dr. Anthony.
Your skin cells pick up small molecules of metal, which travel to your lymph nodes. Your body treats the offending substance like a foreign invader and quickly mounts an immune response. The result: redness, itching, swelling, or a rash, with skin blistering or scaling at the site.

❌SYMPTOMS of a metal allergy range from mild to severe. Each time you’re re-exposed to the offending metal, your skin reacts in the same way.

❌Metals most likely to cause problems
You can develop an allergy to any metal. But nickel, cobalt, and chromates are the usual suspects. Manufacturers often use nickel and cobalt to alloy with other metals. You’ll find these metals in lower-quality jewelry such as costume jewelry.

Metal Allergies
Skin-patch testing can help you find out if you are allergic to metal. If you are, it's important to work with your dermatologist to find ways to limit your exposure Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch

If you’re allergic to nickel, cobalt, or chromates, Dr. Anthony suggests swapping costume jewelry for jewelry made from higher-quality metals. Metals less likely to cause a reaction include: Copper, Yellow gold, Platinum, Stainless steel, Sterling silver. If gold is your thing, be sure to choose yellow gold that is 14-karat gold or higher, he says. Avoid white gold and plated jewelry, as these are sometimes alloyed with nickel or cobalt.

✅“Whether it’s wearing gloves, adjusting your diet, or painting the back of the button on the inside of your pants with clear nail polish, you have many ways to reduce or eliminate your exposure to metal allergens,” Dr. Anthony says.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below ❤

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