Originally published on March 6, 2013 by Rita Arrup
For anyone with nickel allergy, it may be a good idea to be wary of gold whether it’s at the end of the rainbow or at the jewelry store.
Many people believe gold jewelry is nickel free and therefore safe to wear to avoid nickel allergic reactions. This is not always the case, so caution should be exercised when purchasing gold and particularly when considering the use of gold products for piercing. All gold, except for pure 24K gold, is alloyed with other metals. Unfortunately for nickel allergy sufferers, one of those metals is often nickel. Nickel is frequently used as an alloy because of its strength, luster, and durability.
Pure gold does not have the strength and durability to make lasting jewelry. Gold jewelry that is labeled 18 karat gold is made of about 75% gold. To provide the enduring qualities needed for jewelry, 18K gold has been alloyed with one or more metals. Fourteen karat gold only contains about 58% gold, meaning the other metals make up 42% of the jewelry item. When nickel is used as one of the alloying metals, nickel allergy rashes or other symptoms will result for anyone who is sensitive to nickel.
According to experts in the field, white gold is not a good alternative for anyone with nickel allergies. Products marketed as white gold may be yellow gold that has been alloyed with nickel to produce the white lustrous appearance. Though it may also be covered with rhodium, a nickel free element often used for jewelry plating, this top layer will wear with time exposing the nickel in the base metal.
Anyone who is nickel allergic should test all jewelry for nickel content prior to wearing and having to endure those uncomfortable symptoms that often last for days following exposure. Nickel Alert™ has been specifically formulated to quickly, easily, and safely test any metal item to determine if it contains nickel. It will show even a minute concentration of nickel so that those who are most sensitive can safely avert exposure. Should nickel be known to be present in existing jewelry, Nickel Guard™ can protect the skin from contacting nickel when applied according to directions. Nickel Guard is sold separately or together with Nickel Guard as the nickel test kit, Nickel Solution™ . These products are a great way to make a healthy start toward nickel avoidance.
If gold cannot be trusted to be nickel free, what are the options? Nickel allergic consumers may consider titanium, sterling silver, and stainless steel jewelry. Titanium is considered by allergists to be safe for most people who suffer allergies to metal. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and is usually alloyed with copper, making it a good choice for those who are allergic to nickel. Stainless steel may contain nickel but it is so tightly bound that the nickel salts cannot leach out to cause a reaction, so it too is a good choice.
This St. Patrick’s Day enjoy the festivities but don’t go looking for the leprechauns’ pot of gold. It could cause trouble in more ways than one! Wondering about the celebratory food and drink associated with this holiday? For anyone with serious nickel allergies, a visit to an allergist to discuss diet changes could be helpful. Be aware that beer, yes even green beer, contains nickel! The Nickel Allergy Diet on the NoNickel website also seems to implicate cabbage and possibly corned beef. However, the NoNickel owners are reassuring that few of their thousands of customers have issues with diet. Leading allergy experts concur that nickel in the diet is not a concern for the majority of nickel allergy sufferers.
Looking to add something green to your St. Patrick’s Day attire? On their Seasonal Earrings catalog page, NoNickel offers several nickel free earrings in varying shades of green that are guaranteed to avoid pinches and nickel allergy rashes! Although there are no little leprechauns, why not try a pair of pixies? NoNickel’s Pixie Dust Nickel Free Earrings add a touch of whimsy along with a beautiful Spring green look for St. Patrick’s Day. Made of surgical stainless steel by a jewelry artist who is allergic to nickel, these earrings are guaranteed not to cause an allergic reaction from nickel.
Thinking about wishing on a four-leaf clover for an end to nickel allergy misery? There’s no reason to leave nickel allergy avoidance to luck – trust NoNickel for nickel free products and nickel allergy news and information. Nickel free belt buckles (including titanium, brass, stainless steel, and zinc styles), genuine leather nickel free belts, jewelry, and more can be found on their website. Relax and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day – embrace a new nickel free, comfortable lifestyle with no more nickel allergy rashes. Sláinte!