Rashes From Jewelry
Rashes from jewelry—known as allergic contact dermatitis—occur when the skin comes into contact with an allergen such as nickel. Nickel allergies typically look like red, scaly, crusty rashes, and normally develop in places where jewelry is worn, such as around fingers, on ear piercings, or along the neck. Typical sufferers of rashes from jewelry are women who have sensitive skin and who have not formed a tolerance for nickel properties in jewelry (known as nickel immunosensitivity). Around 17 percent of women are known to have some form of rash from nickel allergy.
Treatment of Rashes from Jewelry
Allergic reactions to nickel will manifest as red, itchy rashes and will most likely last between two to four weeks. No cure exists for these types of rashes, so the only real treatment for the condition is to avoid the metals which cause the rashes. However, dermatologists may prescribe certain medications to help control irritation and allergic reactions due to the rash from metal.
Some typical treatments include:
Topical corticosteroid creams: These help control inflammation of the skin and are available over-the-counter medications. Other variants include as clobetasol (such as Cormax) and betamethasone dipropionate (Diprolene)
Oral corticosteroids: These must be prescribed by a dermatologist. Prednisone may be administered if the rash manifests itself over large areas of the body.
Antihistamines: These are also taken orally to control skin inflammations and to relieve itchiness. Variants include fexofenadine (Allegra) and cetirizine (Zyrtec).
Immunomodulators: Nonsteroidal like tacrolimus and pimecrolimus may also be used to treat rashes from jewelry.
When applying medication to treat jewelry rashes, allow the skin to heal completely before wearing any type of jewelry. If after treatment the allergic reactions continue, avoid wearing the allergen-containing jewelry permanently.
How to Prevent Rashes from Jewelry
Treatment of nickel allergies and other types of contact dermatitis due to sensitivity to certain metals involves avoiding the jewelry that caused it. There may also be a reaction to cell phones touching the ear due to the metals. Sufferers should consult a dermatologist to determine which metals they have sensitivity towards so that the doctor may prescribe an appropriate treatment.
It is important that jewelry allergy sufferers avoid scratching itchy areas. Scratching can cause these rashes to ooze or bleed, which could lead to the infection of the irritated skin. This is dangerous since bacterial infections can easily spread to the surrounding tissue, causing further skin problems. In such cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics in order to treat the affected area.
Those who wear jewelry can prevent contact dermatitis allergic reactions from occurring by wearing jewelry that does not contain any allergens such as nickel. Stainless steel, high-quality gold, and sterling silver jewelry are pure and contain no nickel content. Thus, they’re safer to wear if you have an immunosensitivity to nickel. Also putting tape on the metal can be helpful but of course may not look appealing to the eye.