Whether it is worn for fashion, function, or to convey a message, wearing jewelry has become a part of everyone’s daily dressing routine. But are you aware that a small portion of our global population is allergic to the metal in our jewelry?
Between 10% to 12% of women and 6% of men experience Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD), or simply, a localized rash or irritation of the skin due to the skin coming in contact with an irritant (in this case a metal). The most common metals that cause ACD are gold and nickel. Both metals are listed on the top 10 most common causes of ACD.
Many of us are unaware if we are allergic to gold or nickel until we experience a reaction. Nickel ACD can develop at any age and a reaction isn’t always immediate. To my surprise, both white gold and 9Kt gold contain nickel.
Signs of a gold or nickel ACD are as follows:
- Red, swollen rash
- Water blisters
- Itchy or inflamed skin
Most of the time, an ACD reaction is a minor inconvenient rash that clears up with a few weeks. However, if really want to know if you have a metal allergy contact your physician for nickel testing. Unfortunately, a cure is not available yet for these metal allergies.
So, on your next shopping trip, you must become a guru of reading jewelry labels. Look for hypoallergenic, solid gold (12Kt or more), titanium and silver (raw) jewelry.