Nickel Allergy Information

Did you know that a high percentage of people are allergic to Nickel?

Common substances that cause contact dermatitis include poison ivy, nickel, and fragrances. Patch testing data have shown that out of 3,700 known contact allergens, nickel caused contact dermatitis in 14.3 percent of patients, fragrance mix in 14 percent, neomycin in 11.6 percent, balsam of Peru in 10.4 percent, and thimerosal in 10.4 percent.

Nickel is a component of many different types of metals, including white gold, German silver, nickel and gold plating, solder, and stainless steel. Unilateral nickel-induced facial dermatitis elicited by cell phone use has been reported. Hairdressers have been diagnosed with allergy-related hand eczema from prolonged skin contact with nickel-containing scissors and crochet hooks

Allergic contact dermatitis caused by metals in jewelry often can be diagnosed with observation of the rash. Less expensive jewelry, and metal belt buckles and pant closures containing nickel commonly cause allergic contact dermatitis. Inexpensive kits that use dimethylglyoxime to test metals for nickel are widely available to consumers online.

For detailed information about Nickel Allergy, please click on this American Academy of Family Physicians website link:

Adapted or reprinted with permission from Diagnosis and Management of Contact Dermatitis, August 1, 2010, Vol 82,
No 3, American Family Physician Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians. All Rights Reserved.