Jewelry allergy is a common cause of contact allergic dermatitis. Most jewelry allergy is caused by the metal nickel (see nickel allergy) which is used in the manufacture of precious metal alloys. In less expensive jewelry, nickel is often used in the base metal which is then plated with gold or silver. Many people who believe that they are allergic to gold or silver jewelry are actually allergic to nickel, which can occur as a trace element in gold or silver or has been used in the manufacture of gold jewelry to whiten and/or strengthen the piece.
In affected individuals, dermatitis develops in places where nickel-containing metal is touching the skin. The most common sites of jewelry allergy are the earlobes , the fingers (from rings), and around the neck ; the affected areas become intensely itchy and may become red and blistered or dry, thickened and pigmented Sometimes the dermatitis later affects areas that are not in contact with jewelry, particularly the hands. Pompholyx is a blistering type of hand dermatitis that is prevalent in people with a previous history of jewelry allergy, and may be due to contact with other sources of nickel such as coins and keys.
You can coat the backs of the jewelry with clear nail polish, that does help somewhat, you still need to limit the time that you wear the jewelry though... Find out what you are allergic to, is it the gold or the nickel, sometimes if its gold you can get 10 K gold instead of higher values and that helps... If its the nickel then you would need to get the nickel free jewelry...
Some people might be allergic to fake jewelry. Many pieces of jewelry contain the component called nickel which is one of the most common causes of jewelry allergies. The itchy rash generally appears in the areas where jewelry is worn. As a nickel alloy sits against the skin, the natural sweat and oils from the skin oxidize the metal. As a result of the oxidation, a thin layer of nickel salts form on top of the jewelry. Those nickel salts irritate the skin and cause the allergic dermatitis that are characteristic of a metal allergy.
First, almost no one is allergic to pure gold. But pure gold is rare (too soft for jewelry) and you may be allergic to the alloying material. A dermatologist can test you, or you can acquire a pure gold ring and wear it for a week or two: if you don't develop a rash then you're not likely to be allergic.
Yes, gold allergies include white gold allergies. White gold jewelry often has a rhodium plating that would prevent an allergy as the gold would not touch the skin; however, this rhodium plating wears and thins overtime, eventually allowing the gold to touch the skin leading to an allergic reaction.
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