Nickel allergy on the rise

May 8, 2013

Allergies, Food, Healing, Health

Experts estimate that the number of people with a nickel allergy has increased by as much as 40 percent over the past 10 years.

Experts estimate that the number of people with a nickel allergy has increased by as much as 40 percent over the past 10 years.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco —

The number of people living with an allergy to nickel is on the rise, partly due to the popularity of costume jewelry and the common use of nickel in body piercing ornaments. In fact, experts estimate that the number of people with a nickel allergy has increased by as much as 40 percent over the past 10 years.

Other people prone to a nickel allergy include those working with various chemicals and machinery that involve nickel. These include hairdressers, hospital staff and those working with cleaning chemicals.

Nickel is a component of many things we use throughout our daily lives, such as eyeglasses, watches, belt buckles, and even zippers and metal fasteners. Other items include pens, razors, scissors, handles on kitchen or bathroom cabinets, clasps on purses, toasters, needles and so on.

Some people experience an immediate reaction to the nickel, but most will have a reaction caused by prolonged exposure. Generally, a person with a nickel allergy will experience skin rash, irritation and weeping sores that can be magnified by humidity and sweat.

Those with a sensitivity should not only avoid touching this metal, but there is also concern about the foods they eat. Some foods high in nickel include: beans, buckwheat, chocolate, dried fruit, figs, lettuce, licorice, linseed, millet, multigrain breads, nuts, oats, onions, peas, pineapple, prunes, raspberries, salmon, shellfish, soy, spinach, tea, tomatoes and wheat bran products.

At present, there is no way to desensitize the person living with a nickel allergy; therefore, the best method of treatment is avoidance.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

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