For Sensitive Skin: 7 Things You Can Do If Your Jewelry Keeps Causing an Allergic Reaction
Jewelry helps us make fashion statements wherever we go. Some of us feel their looks are incomplete without them, and must always accompany their outfits with some form of matching accessories. But are these ornaments taking a toll on your health in any way? Have you noticed any allergic reactions particularly on your skin in the regions you wear your favourite jewelry?
Well, some people cannot wear accessories because it irritates their skin causing it to erupt into red and itchy rashes. It is common to see greenish stains on the parts of the skin that come into contact with jewelry. But this has nothing to do with an allergy, according to Dr David Herschtal, a dermatologist, as it is merely caused by the oxidation process of jewelry. Sweating worsens the problem because the sodium chloride in your sweat reacts with the metals causing slight corrosion.
In essence, jewelry may cause two main types of irritation:
1) Physical irritation which is caused by metal rubbing against the skin, and
2) Allergic reactions to jewels.
While these types of irritation may look very similar, their root causes are different, and each has its solution.
For physical irritations, you can always find an expert to smoothen the rough parts leading to irritation or have a bigger ring or necklace.
“The wide range of people that suffer from actual allergic reactions are affected by nickel, found in most low-priced jewelry. These can lead to red, itching hives or a dry, itchy, blistered and watery eczema-looking rash. The medical term for the latter condition is allergic contact dermatitis and is normally restricted to the part of the skin in contact with the jewelry. And the nickel allergy is often a life-long chronic condition”, added the dermatologist.
Nickel is often blended with other metals to form alloys and is used to manufacture a wide range of products we use daily like, bra fasteners, coins, zips, hairpins, keys, fashion jewelry, studs, handles, and more. We cannot avoid it as it is everywhere. But for most people, it takes long periods of contact for the skin to show allergic reactions.
Types of Skin Irritation
Steps to take if you have jewellery allergy
So, what can a jewelry lover do other than completely staying away from what they love?
- Purchase real gold (remember silver often contains some nickel).
- Add stainless steel or plastic backs to earrings to avoid contact with skin.
- Pretreat skin with prescription cortisone cream to prevent the green stain. Repeat it 3 hours later. Continued use of the cream could lead to temporary resistance.
- Paint your jewelry with clear nail polish on the parts where it comes into contact with your skin.
- Only wear jewelry to special occasions and remove them once you get home.
- Apply moisturizing cream to skin before you wear jewelry as a protective barrier.
- Check with a jeweller to see if your accessories can be electro-plated to give them a safer covering.
It is a millennial thing to want to look good at the expense of anything, even their health. But why take risks when there are simple solutions to your problem?