Nickel allergy refers to your body’s opposing immune answer to nickel when it encounters products containing nickel like jewelry, utensils, etc.
Your immune system usually defends the body against many harmful substances like bacteria and viruses. This helps you in keeping illnesses at bay. However, in case of nickel allergy, the immune system considers nickel as a serious or dangerous intruder and starts producing certain chemicals to fight off the intruder. This triggers an allergic reaction.(1) Nickel allergy is one of the commonest causes of allergic contact dermatitis(3)
Is Nickel Allergy A Progressive Disease?
Once you are diagnosed with nickel allergy, it will stay always. It does not go away. The only way to avoid it to stay away from things containing nickel as much as possible. Nickel allergy is not a progressive disease. It occurs only when the body encounters nickel.
Alternative Treatments For Nickel Allergy
Certain alternative treatment methods and home remedies may help in curing or soothing a nickel allergy. However, if these alternative treatment methods do not work, it is best to show your doctor for any further assistance. The alternative treatment methods may comprise of-
Using Lotions That Are Soothing-
Soothing lotions like calamine lotion may help in relieving the itching(2)
- The skin consists of a natural barrier or a protective layer. When the skin is exposed to nickel allergy, this layer or barrier is affected or disrupted due to its reaction to the nickel allergy.
- Lotions or emollient creams may help in avoiding or reducing the use of corticosteroids for local application for nickel allergy.
- Examples of emollient creams are petroleum jelly or mineral oil(2)
- Using a wet compress may help in relieving itching and soothe dry blisters.
- Wet compress can be done by soaking a clean cloth in Burrow’s solution or clean tap water.
- Burrow’s solution is an over-the-counter medication that consists of aluminum acetate(2)
Treatment For Nickel Allergy
Nickel allergy has no cure. If you develop a sensitivity to nickel, you are bound to get an allergic reaction whenever you encounter nickel.
The treatment may be helpful in reducing irritation and improving the rash. The treatment methods comprise of-
Medication may help in soothing the rash and irritation. The recommended medications include-
- These medicines may help in relieving the rash and irritation.
- However, the long-term use of corticosteroids may be very harmful to you. These should be used under the proper guidance of a doctor and only if only when needed.
Examples may include-clobetasol, betamethasone dipropionate, etc.(2)
- These may also be effective in soothing the rash and irritation.
- However, these may have an unwelcome side effect of stinging at the site of application.
Pimecrolimus, tacrolimus etc.(2)
- Oral corticosteroids are recommended when the rash is severe and is quite widely spread.
- However, these medicines can cause a lot of serious side effects like mood swings, nausea, weight gain, elevated blood pressure, etc.(2)
- These medicines may provide relief from itching.
- However, these may be less effective in skin itching.
- Examples include fexofenadine, cetirizine etc.(2)
Phototherapy means exposing the skin to non-natural ultraviolet light but in controlled amounts. This treatment is used in those people who do not get better by medicines and topical treatment methods. Phototherapy may take up to several months to show any obvious results.(2)
Nickel allergy is one of the commonest causes of allergic contact dermatitis and is not exactly a progressive disease. If you get diagnosed with nickel allergy once, it will always stay with you and you will get an allergic reaction every time you get exposed to nickel. There are some alternative treatments which may help in soothing rash and irritation caused due to nickel allergy.