What Is The Prognosis For Nickel Allergy?
Nickel allergy is a leading and commonly encountered cause of contact dermatitis. The prognosis depends upon the diagnosis and severity of the disease. Sometimes the patient does not get diagnosed because of inadequate history for delayed presentation to the doctor. In some cases, the patient continues to wear the allergic material that is nickel despite being told not to wear. In such cases, dermatitis and its symptoms persist for a long period of time and the severity of the reaction increases with each exposure of nickel because the allergic manifestation works on the principle of memory cell formation.
Once a person is exposed and becomes sensitized to nickel, the body forms antibodies against the allergen. The subsequent exposures to nickel elicit the secondary immune response and the allergic symptoms appear. With every subsequent exposal, there is an increased and faster response to the allergic substance and is the principle behind increased severity.
The prognosis in terms of quality of life and years of manpower lost becomes poor as this can become a serious condition which can hinder the normal daily routine work and occupation. Death due to nickel allergy specifically is not seen but it may lead to increased allergy to other substances which can produce a severe and life-threatening anaphylactic response and can cause death.
Male to female ratio of nickel allergy is more towards females with a large difference. It is because of its association with nickel ornaments which are commonly worn by females. No racial predilection is seen in the cases of nickel allergy. The geographical distribution of the condition is also universal because of the widespread use of nickel in a lot of wearable substances. The occupational predilection of the nickel allergy is seen in people working in jewelry stores, nickel coating industry, etc. .
Lifestyles Changes For Nickel Allergy
As soon as the diagnosis of allergy to nickel and related substances is made, it is to be duly noted that nickel substances should not be worn or their exposure should be avoided in any form. The allergic response will subside in a very less time period if the exposure refrains and no recurrence is seen in such cases. The ornaments coated with nickel should be got polished with other metals, to whom a person is not allergic.
The patient should make the list of substances containing the nickel and should try to remember to avoid exposure to their uses. Few of the substances containing nickel are like jewelry items, ornaments, belt buckles, wristbands, zippers, bra hooks, coins, eyeglass frames, metal tools, cell phones, keys, e-cigarettes, other electrical items, etc. Ingredients of the substances should be checked or asked the concerned person before using them.
No additional treatment or measures are to be taken because the symptoms do not appear if the exposure is not there. Emergency medication should be kept alongside in cases of accidental exposure to prevent a severe anaphylactic response. Regular patch testing after one year or so should be done to rule out the development of additional allergies to other substances. (1)
Prognosis of the allergic condition to the nickel is very good if diagnosed and treated early. Generally, the topical medications are sufficient to deal with the allergic response. In severe cases, oral corticosteroids may be needed to control the allergy and hospital administration may also be required. Repetitive exposure can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions and should be avoided, although the death is not commonly seen with it in most of the cases.
Prevention of nickel substances is to be incorporated in the lifestyle by the patient because it is the most effective metal to deal with its allergy. Different metals other than nickel can be used for ornamental purposes after the allergy has been ruled out by patch test. Already susceptible individuals to other allergies should get their patch test done to rule out nickel allergy beforehand.
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