Don’t carry loose change or keys and avoid clothes with zips and studs. Great advice for somebody newly diagnosed with a nickel allergy, but in practise, is it really realistic? Unless you’re the Queen or are rich enough to have someone else to drive you around, carry your keys, purse, bag and small change and also shop for you and carry out actual transactions on your behalf the chances are you will struggle to avoid nickel.
Nickel is a very useful and versatile metal compound which helps to strengthen other metals, which explains why it’s used so widely in our world and is quite hard to avoid. Did you know that six hundred million people are allergic to nickel? If you are one of these people you now know you’re not alone, along with Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame who also has a nickel allergy. Don’t despair though, there is loads you can do to minimise your contact and allergic reactions.
Since being diagnosed myself many years ago after very painful attempts to wear earrings I’ve worked out some clever ways to stay nickel free, but it’s not an easy one to completely avoid.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes – Some parts of your body are naturally more sensitive so if you are having to come into contact with nickel make sure you avoid touching face and eyes.
- Washing your hands – Simply washing your hands after handling that dirty money or other metal objects that you suspect of containing nickel as soon as you can will reduce any adverse reactions.
- Wearing gloves
If you can’t avoid touching nickel, for instance of you work in a shop, you could try to wear some cotton gloves whilst taking transactions at the till. You might think you will look silly doing this but you’ll avoid nasty sores on your hands if you’re really sensitive.
- Nickel can pass through thin clothing
Don’t keep keys and small change loose in your pockets as over time they can begin to rub and react with the skin beneath, depending on how thick the material is.
- Stick to 24 carat gold or certified British sterling Silver jewellery
Like the Queen, you should only wear the best jewellery, so 24 carat gold and British silver are the safest options as they have to adhere to certain standards. They don’t contain any nickel whilst other countries can have different quantites of other metals present in silver. White gold is made from mixing gold with nickel so avoid this completely. Platinum is a safe option as it too is nickel free. There are is loads of funky jewellery that doesn’t contain any metal like leather, ribbon, string or woven necklaces and lots of manufacturers are now making nickel free earrings and other jewellery so ask before you buy.
- Be careful with clothing – Nickel can be found in the studs and zips on jeans and the clasps on the waist bands of skirts and on dresses. I believe Levi’s jeans are now nickel free so they’re safe to wear.
- Tell your dentist – Some fillings can be mixed with metal compounds so always check with your dentists that a filling or cap they plan to fit doesn’t contain any nickel.
- Nickel in food – There are many foods which are high in Nickel content including: Almonds, Asparagus, Baking powder, Brown lentils, Beans, Cabbage, Canned foods, Chocolate, Corn, food cooked with or in nickel-containing utensils, Hazelnuts, Herring, Licorice, Margarine, Mushrooms, Onions, Oysters, Peanuts, Pears, Peas, Raisins, Rhubarb, Spinach, Sprouts, Tea, Tomatoes, Walnuts and Whole meal flour. Thanks to the Steady Health Forum for this list of foods. There might be more foods in this list but I think allergy to nickel in food only happens in very rare cases where the person is severely allergic to nickel so don’t panic. Keep an eye on any unexplained allergic reactions though to see if there is any link to the foods you eat in this group of foods above.
- Tell doctors and hospitals – Always let doctors or anyone who is treating you for any medical emergency know that you have a nickel allergy as some instruments may contain nickel. Stainless steel can contain small amounts of nickel.
- In the kitchen – finally some kitchen utensils can contain nickel. If you stick to wooden, plastic and nickel free in your kitchen you should be OK, but think about when you eat out and at friend’s houses for dinner. You could consider taking your own cooking pots and utensils and asking a restaurant to use these to cook your meal. Speak to them in advance and explain your predicament and some understanding establishments will helpful.
One thing that can help, but is temporary as it wears off, is clear nail varnish. For a quick fix you can paint your favourite earrings, jewellery or any nickel on clothes with the varnish but this won’t last. Ideally you need to avoid the things that contain nickel for good.
You may also be interested in Alex Gazzola’s new book, ‘The Metal Allergy Guide‘.
Allergy UK also have information on their website and fact sheet to download so visit: www.allergyuk.org to read more on this subject.
Renee Danyluk says
Great article! Lot’s of good tips. Both my kids and my husband (inerited?) have nickel alergy. We have to think twice before we buy anything that contains metal. It is a real pain. We find a lot on Amazon and we found nickel free belts at http://www.nickelfreebelts.com. Good luck everyone!
Thanks Renee. It is tough yes. Getting a new kitchen ti was hard finding nickel free door handles! Almost impossible actually. Watch out for the new proposed coin change for 5p and 10p pieces. They will contain more nickel!
Hi everyone does anyone have a suggestion on Shower head!
I would like to make a small correction to this article – Sterling Silver actually does contain nickel, I have a nickel allergy and am allergic to many hallmarked necklace chains that I own – I have to be careful to source silver that specifies that it is nickel free. I just thought people should know before they go spending money on Sterling Silver only to find that they’re allergic to it like I did!
Do you know, I think you’re right. I’m a bit cross about this because Medicalert sold me a silver bracelet when I was allergic to their normal ones. I’m pretty sure it’s irritating me and I can’t wait to get it off when I get home again. Not great! Thanks for letting me know and thanks for sharing. I know some silver isn’t nickel free but always thought British silver should be. I stand corrected.
I wear a titanium medical alert bracelet. Search the internet and you will find it too. Good luck!
I am severely sensitive to Nickel – but I can wear sterling silver, without any dramas, but have had dramas with surgical steel – not always, just certain things, so maybe it is all dependant on the amount that is present.
Mark Hughes says
Hi all I have just found out that I am allergic to nickel after 10 years of doctors telling me I’m not. So now I’m looking for products that don’t contain nickel, I’d heard Levi jean do not have nickel in them but to be sure I emailed them. Here is what they said:-
Hello im highly allergic to nickel that is found in most metals. Could you tell me if you Jeans have Nickel in the buttons and studs? or which of your products are Nickel free please?
Hi, Betty here from Levi Strauss Thanks for reaching out to us. All of our products are nickel free.
I have a contact nickel allergy and I have the food allergies that go with it. I’ve done a lot of research and pretty much all metals contain a certain percentage of nickel because they are alloy. Basically, no metal is pure and it is mixed with other metal. On my jeans, I buy cloth bandaids and cut off the sticky part and put it on all of the inside rivets that would touch my skin. You can put your jeans through the washer and dryer a few times until they fall off and then just replace them. A couple of layers of masking tape will work too to save money. I hope this helps you 🙂
Ruth Holroyd says
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I do wish we could get jeans without metal rivets. It must be possible! With little fold over patches of cloth sewn in maybe . We can dream 😉
Hi, do you know if cleaning your teeth with toothpaste that has baking soda in it can bring out symptoms in someone who has a nickel allergy? I try to avoid most foods with high nickel content but hadn’t thought about toothpaste before and see you have baking powder listed as being high in nickel. Baking powder and soda are related right?
Baking powder has nickel in it; baking soda does not. I am sensitive to baking powder but I can brush my teeth with baking soda. Be sure to let your water run for 10 seconds before you wet your toothbrush in case the water has picked up nickel from the brass in the tap.
Now this could be why sometimes, cakes I make cause me a mild problem. Thank you so much for sharing this. I wonder what you can use in baking instead of baking powder?
My cookbook lists a substitution for baking powder:
1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Not sure of the equivilant metric measurement
susan jean pearson says
HI EVERYONE I HAD NICKEL PROBLEM FOR 25 YEARS NOW .IT STARTED WITH MY GLASSES ZIPS BELTS NOW I GETTING SORES ALL OVER MY BODY IT DRIVING ME MAD I TAKING TABLETS AND STERIOD NOW IT WITH THE FOOD SO I FINDING VERY HARD TO DEAL WITH I NEED HELP
What do i do about hypodermic needles that are nickle coated? I’m having a reaction at this moment.
Hi Dianne, I’m not sure about this. I discovered that stainless steel contained nickel when I became allergic to my medic alert bracelet of all things. Crazy! I found this study http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154;year=2011;volume=56;issue=2;spage=237;epage=238;aulast=Mehta which details other cases of people who reacted to nickel in hyperdermic needles and other medical instruments, so you are not alone. It could also explain why I have been having very bad skin and all over itching since a lot dental work and numerous injections. However if this is the case I am not sure what you do about it. I am on the case now as I’m convinced this could explain why, whenever I am on a drip at hospital (not often thankfully) I become very sensitive over time, flush read and have a mild allergic reaction. What worries me is that the reaction would be worse over time! If I find out anything I will let you know.
yes indeed this allergy gets worse over time. I progressed to what is known as SNAS (systemic nickel allergy syndrome) I had terrible oozing bleeding eczema primarily on my face, NOT a good look! My face and sometimes other areas were horribly swollen. I had sores in my mouth. Constant severe nausea despite medication. Headaches, fibromyalgia. It was hellish for 6 years. I was finally diagnosed but at my stage my allergy was so severe I had to go on a very LOW nickel diet. This diet sucks! NO chocolate, no nuts, no seeds, no beans of any kind, no whole grains, most veggies and many fruits are banned as well and those allowed are in limited quantities. No foods cooked in stainless steel pans (it releases nickel into food when heated) so no restaurant food, no commercial coffee (same thing, nickel released from hot machines). No canned food ever. It just gets worse and worse. It is hard to get accurate info on nickel content in foods. Many medical sites disagree on which veggeis/fruits are high or lower, but all plants will contain some nickel. It varies due to soil grown in, fertilizers used, and age of plant at harvest. Mainly the diet wants you to eat meat, eggs, dairy and WHITE rice (not any other kind) or gluten laden white flour items. I am gluten free vegan so this has been hellish for me. There are several Facebook support groups (nickel allergy to food and eczema caused by nickel allergy. Many US doctors know nothing about SNAS. You can get tested for nickel allergy at your derm with a patch test. Oh, and most makeup, especially eye makeup has nickel. You won’t see the word “nickel” on the ingredients, but it is contained within other ingredients like mica. Manyb women now are getting swollen irritated eyes due to nickel in makeup. It can also be in sunscreens and other body care products. The only country that has nickel testing seems to be Italy and it is expensive to buy and ship these items to the USA. This allergy just sucks! Don’t ignore it, or you will end up like me. It took 6 years of my life.
Nick Woodward says
I have a painfull [ burn] from what I believe is a reaction to loose change in my pocket when I put work gloves which were probably full of my sweat in my pocket [work trousers] during a tea break period. Kind regards Nick
I have a skin allergy for almost 5 months…i cannot sleep and my hands are very itchy sometimes it bleeds…the doctor said that this allergy called dishydrotic ecsema.. he gave me some anti histamine, hypo with Dexa lotion and a cream called clobetasole 0.05%…I continue using this medicine for 7 days and it works..I didn’t use my gloves anymore but I am avoiding to use detergent soap and any products containing nickel.. if you want to know more just email me.thanks
Please give me a solution for my nickle allergy, I am suffering from 4yrs
please see my post above on SNAS (systemic nickel allergy). I have a severe case which required the low nickle diet to relieve my symptoms. This allergy only gets worse with time. You can find more info on this blog and there are two Facebook groups for those with SNAS (look up nickel food allergy and eczema caused by nickel allergy) Many doctors know nothing beyond telling you to avoid contact with nickel in jewelry, etc but for some of us that is not enough. It is a hellish diet I hate it with all my heart. Good luck. Here is a link to the blog run by Barbara. Tell her Nicola sent you 🙂 http://www.nickelychallenged.com/ and the 2 Facebook groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/nickelallergy/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011417188879647/
I have been getting allergy shots forever for a mold allergy. For two years now, I have been having severe reactions to something on my face which it is mostly the skin around my eyes and eye lids. They get red raw and swollen. The allergist, dermatologist and eye dr kept passing the buck. Finally I couldn’t deal with it anymore and found a new dermatologist who suggested patch testing. It was a miracle, we found my problems. I am allergic to nickel, gold, bacitracin and fragrances. I am just going to live in a bubble. So difficult to get away from nickel and fragrances. I also heard that nickel is in cell phone cases so you are better off with a rubber case. You can buy a nickel test kit to see if your jewelry contains nickel. When I had food allergy testing done it is funny how I am allergic or have a sensitivity to all of the foods you listed and why is that, because they contain nickel. This allergy is a pain in the neck, but at least I know now. Would you suggest that I get an allergy bracelet for these or not?
Yes! Get an allergy bracelet because it can speak for you when you can’t speak for yourself.
I recommend the following blog run by Barbara who has a severe nickle allergy http://www.nickelychallenged.com/
and also there are 2 Facebook groups for people with SNAS (systemic nickel allergy syndrome). I too am one, and HATE this low nickel diet!!!! But it has brought me tremendous relief from my symptoms. Nickel is commonly found in many makeups, especially eye makeup so your experience is common. Sadly only Italy seems to take SNAS seriously and they require nickel testing. I suggest you buy Italian brands of makeup, sunscreen etc to avoid irritation and rashes. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1011417188879647/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/nickelallergy/
I recently realised that nickel is used in the manufacture of margarine – which is why it is a high nickel food, and finally realised why I have hated margarine and why it makes me sick, when I eat it. Only took my 40 years.
I think we should listen to our bodies more. They try to tell us what not to eat. Milk was always disgusting to me and now I’m seriously allergic to it. Tomatoes and celery the same – like poison. Just the smell of nuts makes me sick too. It’s very interesting. Good luck with the nickel food avoidance. It is hidden in so many types of foods. Margerine is also very very processed. Have you tried coconut oil instead? I’m trying one I got from Goodness Direct which isn’t strongly coconut tasting so works quite well kind of a spread if you need one and in cooking.
Hi I’m 15 I have never been told I have nickel allergies when I got allergy tests don’t but I can’t wear any cheap earrings my ears get super sore. Even nickel free earrings from Clare’s I can’t whear they do have nickel in them. Last year I started wearing jeans from old navy and I have sores on my lower admin it sucks it itches so bad I’ve come to the reason I much be allergic and its annoying. They are one of those allergies that are a pain In the butt like dust and dust mites. I find a clear nail polish works on jeans it helped so much last year need to put it on my new jeans tho. Good luck all my fellow nickel allergy sufferers
Hi Jamie, I hear your pain. I used to have my ears peirced and the only metal I could wear was sterling silver, and even that sometimes reacted and 24 carat gold. We should have been born rich hey? I find lots of stainless steel jewellery can irritate me and my wedding ring ended up being platinum (expensive) because that was all they could guarantee wouldn’t have some nickel in. As for jeans, have you tried Levi’s? They do a nickel free jean, I’m not sure if all their jeans are nickel free so do check. I know they are the most expensive jeans out there but maybe try to buy a pair on amazon to see if you like them. Or look out for them in charity shops. You can get some really good condition clothes in charity shops. Are you allergic to dust and dust mites too? I am as well and that is one of the hardest allergies to live with – worse than some of the food allergies because I can NEVER avoid it totally.
joan edwards says
I would like to add further to your nickel allergy check-lists: – I’ve been totally unable to replace my Toyota Hilux ignition key with a non-nickel content key. I have found some keys, especially the Toyota, to be very reactive with nickel content. This is a problem when you are in and out of the car a lot during the day. I have covered with sellotape partially. May try varnish as well. Regards, Joan
I hadn’t even thought of car keys… does anyone know of a low nickel car key out there? I’m guessing it’s unlikely because the nickel content makes the metal stronger and cheaper. YOu could wear gloves to drive… very Downton Abbey.
Athena Allergy’s Nickel Guard is a good product for coating earrings to protect from nickel. It could also work on the part of the key the fingers touch, but probably should not be painted onto the part that goes into the ignition. They also have nickel free jean rivets and buttons.
Thank you, Rita, for that suggestion.
Just for interest, I am in the process of obtaining from a panelbeater a two-pot clear very hard coating for painting onto many of the nickel-containing items around the house.
I have found (with the help of a nickel-testing kit) that some of the worst items are not those that one would suspect: – the worst are the handels and metal trim of fairly old fridges and also window catches dating from the ’60?s or 70?s here. Surprise!
If I may make an addition to your article, Many people think of an allergic reaction to food as your airway swelling shut or hives but I would like to make sure that your readers understand a food allergy can present itself with the only noticeable symptoms as simple as “gas”. There may be other symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, acne, eczema, swelling (legs are common but anywhere can happen), ADHD, to list a few. Anything that you eat is dispersed throughout your body so we can not “pigeon hole” It to one symptom.
A year ago if you had told me that I food allergies I would have told you that I was diagnosed with IBS (but I can’t wear jewlery) and that they don’t know what causes it, but an event happened in January where my lip swelled up while eating almonds. So I got tested and found out that I am allergic to:
ALL legumes, green beans and peas included,
ALL nuts (excluding Brazilian and Cashews)
I have to be very careful of my drinking water too, It has to be filtered.(Rusty old pipes)
Lucky me! Many of those foods were foods that I regularly ate. In fact in the state I live it is law that restaurants must cook with vegetable oil (which is usually soy or canola). I was very sick, overweight, exhausted, and couldn’t hold a thought. I had all the symptoms I mentioned above (except acne) I had a doctor who wanted to diagnose me with Lupus, she did tons of lab work even had a biopsy done on my swollen leg, but everything came back negative except that my inflammation was off the charts. Thank God I now know what the problem really is and am loosing weight and I have ankles again and feeling better as each day goes by. I think If you have good insurance that people should get tested. It is more common that most people think.
Thanks for letting me share
Skintifique, a new derm and skincare company founded by a Harvard professor and a team of scientists and medical doctors in Boston and Paris just developed the first skincare that protect from Nickel and other metals (eg Chromium). Their line contains a Protective Cream, a Moisturizing Lotion for daily care and a skin Cleanser Lotion. They have included in their products a new technology that captures the metals before they enter the skin, thereby reducing risks of triggering the skin reaction. The products already do wonders for about 80% people who tried. You can find the products at some pharmacies or at http://www.skintifique.com. Hope it helps
I just received skintifique in the mail. I have been using it for 3 days I am not sure if it works yet but it had not made it worse. I still have to fix my diet because my eyes will breakout without the medicine. Thanks for the link I am willing to try anything at this point.
Hi Ann, thanks for the comment. Skintifique is a new one for me. What are you symptoms then Ann? I’m wondering whether my tweezers are causing me problems. Just about to order myself a pair of nickel free ones.
Hello Ann, just reading your comment. Sorry we somehow missed it. We would love to hear how the Protective Cream or Moisturizing Lotion worked for you and how you used them. We have had a lot of feedback from users with allergy to Nickel, Chromium and also from doctors who recommend the products, and people with both allergy and contact dermatitis or dyshidrosis / dyshidrotic eczema. Overall it is now documented that the products work well for 75% people and situations, ie provided effective protection for several hours and / or allowed skin improvement or even disappearance of symptoms. On the other hand, we are still working to understand why there are some cases which are inconclusive and about 10-15% which do not seem to work (eg is it when there is extreme skin allergy / reactivity, or when the items in contact with skin are particularly metal leaky, or because of different forms of allergy?). Collecting and analyzing user feedbacks is key, and I’d love to hear about your experience, if you are ok to contact me at email@example.com (sorry I am concerned about leaving a personal email address on a public website. You can just indicate: to the attention of AM and I’ll follow up with you directly). Also, in case others want to try, we now offer test samples and 1 free product so that people can try for themselves before purchasing a product. Hope it helps.
I replied but did not put AM On the email sorry if you don’t get it let me know and I will resend it and indicate the email should go to you.
Hi Ann, my apologies, there is a typo in the email address I indicated above. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org . Looking forward to reading you. am
I’ve been an artist for many years and it’s hard to find paint brushes with no nickel on them as many of the ferrules are nickel plated. However, I just stumbled upon a company which produces anodized aluminum ferrules which is great! More info can be found through Dartisan Shoppe
I hadn’t even thought of that complication. I’m struggling with finding a suitable watch at the moment, the one I want to wear, a gift from my husband many years ago is giving me more and more discomfort. It’s stainless steel backed and starts to itch by the end of the day. So not much nickel in it but I keep losing the watch around the house where I have to keep removing it. So annoying when you have to give up favourite jewellery of gifts because of this annoying allergy.
Boccia has beautiful titanium watches – straps, cases, etc. I own two of theirs and am very pleased.
OH thanks so much Joan. I have birthday money to spend and want to get a watch. I’ll check them out.
First of all… There’s no such thing as 24K gold jewelry, it’s too soft. Second of all, British jewelry that is sterling silver is not excluded from having nickel in it unless it is stated as nickel free. It doesn’t matter where the jewelry comes from. Do some research, seriously.
(Jewelry collector and seller for many years)
Right Jeff, according to my research sterling silver should be almost pure silver with another metal component, usually copper. The first 10 results in google all agreed that sterling silver was nickel free. So please provide me with a source which proves otherwise. I am quite happy to admit when I am wrong. Seems you are right about the gold, best to go for higher karat gold and only buy if you can check it doesn’t contain nickel to strengthen it.
That’s for “most” new stuff, namely European… Allegedly. The problem is, there is no real way to track and regulate this in jewelry production, and governments have way better things to do with their time. Also, other countries make sterling silver, like here in America, and you never know where it’s really coming from or what it contains unless you have it chemically analyzed with and assay or XRF gun. Also, tons of vintage jewelry (which I specialize in), has nickel in it. Further, nickel is often used to plated silver metals, and in the plating process with rhodium. You can easily avoid the issue by not wearing silver or by simply putting clear nail polish on it. The problem with this whole “nickel allergy” issue is that so many women claim that they have a nickel allergy just so their significant other has to buy them more expensive jewelry. And contrary to what you say, next to no gold alloys have nickel on them, which is why you don’t see people having reactions to it. Again, 18k jewelry is about the highest karat of gold I recommend, as gold any higher than that is very soft and wears much too easily. Even 18k shouldn’t be used for everyday wear unless it is rhodium plated. And for people with nickel allergies, if they don’t want to have their important pieces of silver covered in nail polish which must be reapplied often, they can have them dipped in rhodium without nickel. As for sources, my knowledge speaks for itself…
Hi Jeff, Thanks for the links. My doctor, when I first got the nickel allergy diagnosis was teh one who told me sterling British silver was nickel free. Seems it’s not quite that simple. I’ve got a platinum ring which is fine, the jeweller told me that was nickel free…and indeed it doesn’t irritate me in any way.
I have a nickel allergy and I wear titanium watches. Most are for men so I have to research when I’m shopping for one but titanium watches alleviate the whole problem with watch allergies. Since platinum is best for earrings, I only have two pair that’s probably all I’ll ever have. For jeans, I wear scotch tape on the back of the snap. If the tape comes off during the day, I will have a rash on my stomach for several days.
It annoys me to see the suggestion that women would make up a metal allergy. I would love to wear more costume jewelry. I would collect watches. Instead, I wear necklaces on the outside of my shirt, otherwise I would have almost no jewelry. Nickel allergies take all the fun out of jewelry shopping.
Monica Angel says
Hi LS, I have an online sterling silver jewelry store. ALL my jewelry is nickel-free. My customers with nickel allergies (even severe) wear my jewelry with no problems at all! My collection is high quality, modern and beautiful! You should give it a try! Your allergy should not take the fun out of shopping for jewelry! We provide free shipping and hassle free returns if by any circumstance you have any issues with the product! I hope this helps!
Actually there is a such thing as 24 karat gold. My boyfriend has a ring from his father. Unfortunately, it can`t be worn because it is so soft. So it just sits in a clear box looking pretty.
That’s a shame. Poor lonely old ring. Platinum worked well for me but was quite pricey.
Hi, I was recently diagnosed with a nickel allergy. I’m having a hard time with all my jewelry. I just bought earrings from simply whispers that were sterling silver and had a reaction. Can anyone tell me if sterling silver is better? I did also change my diet but I’m not sure of things. Some websites say asparagus, mushrooms and carrots are not high in nickel but some say there low. I was also wondering if anyone ever experienced wen coming into contact if it bothers there joints, or feel pain in there body. Anyone know of nickel free makeup and creams for face and body too? I would really appreciate all the advice I can get. Thanks
Diet is the tricky one but sterling silver can I think sometimes contain a bit of nickel. I have a platinum ring which is fine, expensive but nickel free! Not experimented with makeup as I don’t wear much anyway. Mineral makeup is good for my skin as I have eczema and sensitive skin.
Hi Ruth, thank you for your info. I ended up with all blotchy on my face from the earrings this morning. Do you know if it can also cause your body to feel soar and hurt with a nickel allery?
Don’t forget to get that mercury pulled from your mouth. Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive metal known to man.
I”m allergic to nickel and am having problems with Vicks Vapor rub . Put some on my chest because of a cold and broke out in the middle of the night. Ugh. What can I use to minimize the itching? I washed it off but too late. The weird.thing about this is I used the same thing the week before and didn’t have a reaction. Found out it was a different jar. Same name. Same ingredients but a different jar. Does anyone have reactions to over the counter medicines? What ingredient should I be looking for to avoid?
I had no idea that nickel can transfer through clothing! GREAT tip.
For more info on SNAS (systemic nickel allergy syndrome) please visit this blog run by Barbara who has a severe nickel allergy. Very helpful tips. She has a YouTube channel as well. Tell her Nicola sent you 🙂 http://www.nickelychallenged.com/
I have a severe nickel allergy and must be on the low nickel diet. Many doctors seem to know little about SNAS. Good luck. This allergy, and the diet, are just awful.
Thanks for the link Nicola. Many doctors just don’t really know the allergy field well enough and few of us ever get to see a true expert. Sad but true, GPs cannot be expected to know this stuff, but you can bet someone does. Just not someone we ever get referred to. Seem unfair but thanks for sharing your blog. I’m sure it will help many others with nickel allergy who may also be getting effects from food high in nickel as well as nickel itself.
I have severe nickel break out on my face and it has been happening for 4 years. I am on the low nickel diet and it is getting boring and it seems like I’m pretty much just eating meat and drinking water. I wear gloves all day long and wash my hands constantly. Not even the low nickel diet will make my nightmare end. It goes away for 2 to 3 days and comes right back every week, over and over. It feels like it’s fighting back when I feel I’m getting closer to figuring it out. It is the worst pain I’ve ever had and it just drains me. I’ve had more Steroids to clear it up than anyone I know and they stopped giving them to me. There’s no Cream to clear it up and all face lotions make it go haywire. Non of the research on the internet is accurate and everyone has different symptoms to all the foods. I wish there was a real list of items that I could eat but all I keep seeing is spam and different opinion on what is and isn’t low nickel.
Sorry to hear about your pain. Just want to bring to your attention that Skintifique offers what seem to be the world first products that actually protect skin from nickel (also cobalt, chromium and related metals). The creams have been around for 2 years now, sold both on their website and amazon and are helping many people with metal allergy and conditions it triggers, including contact dermatitis / eczema, dyshidrosis and others. This is no magic: the creams are based on real new technology that captures the metals at surface of skin and prevents them from entering the skin and triggering the allergic reactions or maintaining the rash state. Based on several studies, both in real life and clinical data, it works for about 75-80% people. You can purchase on their website and amazon. On their website, they also offer a free product for people who want to try – you just pay shipping. Hope it helps
I know this is a very old post but in case anyone else comes across this with a nickel allergy that, like me, enjoys to paint but has been finding even the paint brush handles contain nickel and break out…like I did (especially since I have a bad habit of sticking the brush in my teeth to free up my hands here and there), instead of replacing the brushes, I just use electrical tape to cover them. It’s usually made of vinyl and stretches to cover the brush handle nicely and also seems to be pretty water proof so far! I’m thinking I’m going to buy a huge roll of this stuff and cover a lot more things that I touch… nickel allergies just suck!
What a great idea! My bike handle bars are always covered too, with a tennis racket grip due to the rubber which I’m allergic to. We get around these things don’t we. thanks for sharing and yes this is an old post but it still gets regular comments and readers so thanks.
Danielle Garrow says
I’m very sensitive to anything in a can.. Food or drinks both bother me.
Ruth Holroyd says
Hi Danielle, thanks for the comment. I know it must be tough sometimes, especially when eating and drinking out as you may not perhaps know what goes in a kitchen! and explaining this must be tricky. Happy new Year!
niya bell says
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Forget about nail polish, etc. I have also tried the test kits without results. But when I wear nickel containing jewelry I always end up with a red, wet, oozing rash that drives me nuts. I have tried other barriers such as moleskin which is flexible to some degree and have recently found that the Flexseal adhesives help. They are messy to use and drip through to the “pretty part” of the piece which can be ugly that is why I hang it instead of placing it on a flat surface. I place a large piece of wax paper on a wall, using push pins and attach the bracelet to the wax paper, also with push pins, then carefully spray the item with the Flexseal product so it won’t drip to the decorative side. After several coats it seems to work.. I have also coated the underside with rubber or silicone. This will not work with fine items such as chains. Also I have used clamshell containers cut to fit and glued them to the back of the piece and replaced the posts with plastic ones.
Ruth Holroyd says
Cathy thank you so much for your comments. You have gone to great lengths, and I should probably give some of these a go. I just give up wearing the jewellery. The weeping sores are just so gross.
June Noble says
I have a nickel allergy that usually results in red, sore, puffy eyes. After years of suffering I decided to see whether food in nickel was responsible as I was very careful with jewellery & handling nickel. Straight away I could see where the problem was. I had been eating a lot of Nutella & High Juice Blackcurrant juice. I also enjoyed bags of peanut M & M’s !
Cocoa, peanuts, blackcurrants, & hazelnuts have a high nickel content (as well as a lot of other foods). I stopped eating the Nutella & M&MS & drinking the juice and within 3 days my eyes had cleared up.
At no time was I told that I should avoid food containing nickel even though my allergy results showed I had a high allergy to nickel.
I still occasionally get a flare up & can always trace it back to a food I had eaten
Ruth Holroyd says
That’s fantastic news, I’m so pleased you had such success avoiding high nickel foods. This is fantastic news. I hope you continue to do well! Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you can find good substitutes for these foods if you miss them.
I have a severe nickel allergy. I am not having any luck finding a hypodermic needle for a blood draw that is either nickel free, gold plated, or silicone plated. I’m working with the local hospital that has informed me that no-one has ever asked about this. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Ruth Holroyd says
Gosh no, I don’t. As someone with a pretty severe nickel allergy I haven’t even considered this. I don’t know if this is any help, but since the needle isn’t in contact for long, I’ve always been OK with needles and I’ve had my share of blood taken and also have anaphylaxis so carry adrenaline injectors. I had patch tests recently and they did nickel for that, it burnt a hole in my back that has left a scar that I don’t think will ever heal. It was such a terrible wound to heal, so I do have a bad nickel allergy. There MUST be a solution to this though as I understand why you don’t want to risk a needle that might cause you to react. I shall do some research on your behalf. But it’s not something I’ve ever been asked before either. A friend of mine wrote the book, The Metal Allergy Guide, so if anyone knows it will be Alex Gazzola. Check our my review of https://whatallergy.com/2021/11/the-metal-allergy-guide-book-review/ and I will ask his advice on this.
Ruth Holroyd says
So this is the response from the author of The Metal Allergy Guide, Alex Gazzola. “My feeling about this is that if the hospital have not been asked before, then I suspect it’s because it’s unlikely to be a problem. Needles don’t need to be nickel free – they just need (like anything else that’s temporary contact) to not leech sufficient allergy triggering quantity of nickel into the system during the duration of contact. The 30 (? if that) seconds I imagine is far too short, and if the needles are made from surgical grade stainless steel there’s very little nickel that leeches from that even on extended contact. I imagine they’re made to be hypoallergenic anyway. I’m not an expert, but I suspect it would be OK. If she’s very concerned, she could ask the hospital to speak to their immunologists. There is also a nickel allergy group on Facebook. Maybe she could ask on there? “