Nickel Allergy - Frequently Asked Questions
How many people in the UK are affected by nickel allergy?
About 10-12% of women and 6% of men. Mostly caused by wearing an inexpensive earring or piece of jewellery that has corroded upon contact with the skin and caused a reaction. More women have their ears pierced than men, hence the higher percentage affected.
Is there a cure?
Unfortunately not at the moment. Once your body has recognised nickel as an allergen, it is for life.
Are all allergic reactions from metal caused by nickel?
Not all, but it is the most common metal allergy. Some people have a silver, or even a titanium allergy, but this is very rare.
What is the most common cause of nickel allergy?
It is usually from wearing inexpensive earrings that often contain nickel. It then manifests itself when the skin comes into contact with anything that contains nickel that is against the skin for a length of time, and gets sweaty. Hence the problem with belt buckles, underneath watches, and necklaces.
Do the EU guidelines mean any belt in Europe is safe to wear?
You would think so, but through my experience I've found that even when a buckle has beeen passed as safe, it sometimes still has enough nickel to trigger contact dermatitis. This is why Nickelsafe take care that our products meet the most stringent requirements before they get to you, and can guarante our products too.
Isn't there nickel in coins and keys?
Yes there is, but generally it is not in contact with the skin for any prolonged amount of time, and not long enough again to get sweaty when it is. This is why, unless you are extremely sensitive, handling these day to day objects is not usually a problem.
Can I avoid nickel in food?
Nickel is in so many food products that it is difficult to avoid, or to have a nickel free diet. It can cause eczema in some people, and this can be ascertained by your doctor. Book an appointment if you think nickel may be the cause of any persistant external skin rash you may have.