A jewelry allergy can irritate and cause swelling of anyone’s skin and is a common cause of contact allergic dermatitis. Most jewelry allergies are due to the skin’s exposure to nickel. Often nickel is used as a base for less expensive jewelry but sometimes trace elements can be found in gold jewelry to strengthen and whiten the piece.
Affected individuals will notice eczema where the metal touches the skin. The affected area will become itchy, and sometimes blisters can form causing scarring and pigmentation.
A jewelry allergy can also occur due to friction or if the soap reacts with the metal. Jewelry allergies are most common in those that have sensitive skin or those who have atopic dermatitis. Jewelry that is too tight can also irritate as the skin does not get a chance to dry.
If you have a jewelry allergy, it is best to avoid wearing jewelry as most metals will contain some nickel. You could opt to wear stainless steel, 24-carat gold, sterling silver or pure platinum pieces. Even if you don’t have a jewelry allergy, it is best to invest in these types of metals if you intend to wear your pieces daily.
To test if you have a jewelry allergy visit a dermatologist and ask them to perform a skin patch test to determine if you have a nickel allergy. If your results are positive, choose to remove all your jewelry that you suspect may have nickel. Opt to wear pieces one by one to eliminate which pieces you can wear.