You won’t believe all the things that cause this allergy

Nickel AllergyYou come home from a great dinner in a brand new outfit, head to toe. And while you’re getting ready for bed, you notice that your wrist and both your ears are itching. You wonder if you somehow ate something you might be allergic to.

In this imaginary scenario, when you wake up in the morning, the itching has only gotten worse. Now you are also experiencing:

  • Rash and bumps
  • Redness and other skin color changes
  • Dry patches that look like a burn
  • Blisters and draining fluid

This would definitely be the most extreme case ever of one of the most common allergies.

Contact dermatitis

An itchy rash that appears on your skin when you haven’t been in contact with anything normally harmful, such as poison ivy, is considered allergic contact dermatitis.

An allergy you may have, but never heard of

A common cause of contact dermatitis is sometimes called a jewelry allergy. But the real cause is nickel. The substance is often found in earrings, bracelets, watches – nickel is everywhere, such as in:

  • Zippers, snaps and bra hooks
  • Cellphones
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Jewelry associated with all types of piercings
  • Rings
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Jewelry clasps
  • Watchbands
  • Coins
  • Metal tools
  • Keys

A hard metal to avoid

The allergy can develop after just one, or repeated, exposure to any item containing nickel, making you sensitive to the metal for life. One treatment method is to avoid all contact with nickel. But there are treatments your dermatologist can offer, particularly if your reaction to contact with nickel is severe and prolonged.

Come see Dr. Bucay

Any time you develop a mysterious skin rash that doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see your dermatologist, especially if the area has become infected or painful. (If you already know you have a nickel allergy, you can pursue the same treatments she has recommended that have worked in the past.)

If you take off a new, really great pair of earrings, and your earlobes turn crusty, red or itchy, they may have to go. But first, call for a diagnosis appointment:
(210) 692-3000 or (210) 370-9995.

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The last few weeks have borne witness to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus known as COVID-19. This is a novel virus that we do not fully understand, but whose devastating effects have been felt around the world, with no regards for borders or economies. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been forever changed by this pandemic. In the spirit of containing this pandemic, I, Dr. Bhandari, and our incredible family of dedicated professionals who make up Bucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics have made the difficult but necessary decision to keep our offices closed through April 3, pending any further developments.

Our goal is to ensure the safety and well being of our patients and our team. We are grateful to all of you for your loyalty and understanding and look forward to the time when we can resume doing what we do best - caring for you. Until then, please adhere to the recommended guidelines regarding handwashing and social distancing. Please remember that social distancing doesn't mean social isolation - the digital age allows us to be there for each other.

Warmest wishes to all of you for continued good health and strength,

Vivian Bucay, MD