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A nickel allergy is very common among individuals throughout the world. Because nickel is commonly found in the environment, it is often difficult to avoid in everyday living. Nickel is most commonly found in costume jewelry, jeans studs/buttons, belts, coins, and even some foods. Typically individuals will breakout on their earlobe (from earrings), neck (necklaces), waist (jeans/pants clasps), fingers (rings), and wrist (watch). A nickel allergy is typically identified by a red, intensely itchy rash, that can occasionally turn into boils after contact with the metal. The more contact an individual has with nickel, the more likely they are to obtain a nickel allergy, which can show up at any age. Often the history associated with a patient’s rash can indicate if it is likely a nickel allergy. If confirmation is needed or the diagnosis is not certain, our providers can perform a patch allergy test, in which he will test multiple allergens (including nickel) on a small spot on your skin. After a day or two, the skin will produce a small red, itchy rash in the testing spot, signifying an allergy. While an allergy cannot be “treated”, the symptoms can be relieved by prescription antihistamines and corticosteroid creams.


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