Nickel allergy sufferers, a cream to relieve your allergy may be on the horizon. Researchers may have discovered a new way to ward off the red, itchy rash caused by allergies to nickel, in pigs and mice anyway. Indeed, according to the journal article released in the Nature Nanotechnology journal scientist found, “Using nanoparticles with diameters smaller than 500 mm in topical creams may be an effective way to limit the exposure to metal ions that can cause skin irritation.” Someday soon it may take a simple dab of topical cream, and you can wear your platinum wedding ring… or upgrade to one ladies.
Good news if you are among the 30 to 45 million people who suffer from a nickel allergy in America. While the cream has proven successful on pig skin as well as mice, it has yet to be tested on humans; though the lead creator of the product, Jeffrey M. Karp, is fairly certain that the product will work on humans too. If you are allergic to nickel, here are some surprising things that might irritate your skin: zippers, belts, watches, scissors, coins, hairpins, guitar strings and platinum jewelry (that often has a nickel base). The researchers have already patented the work and if they are approved by the FDA it could be available soon.
Nickel is a metal that mixes easily with other metals. Since nickel is a hard metal it is mixed with soft metals (like gold) to make them more durable. It is also easy to polish a metal that has been mixed with nickel so nickel is mixed into things like surgical instruments, jewelry, tableware, cookware and accessories. The list is nearly endless so you must always be aware of the products you buy and try to shop nickel free.
What is a Nickel Allergy?
According to Nickelfreelife.com, “Nickel allergy is actually classified as ‘Allergic Contact Dermatitis.'” That name is given to any substance that causes an allergic reaction when in contact with the skin. It usually starts as a redness and swelling. Without removal of the agent causing the reaction it can progress to blisters and open fissures. These wounds can then become infected.”
Is There Nickel in Foods?
Yes, many foods contain nickel, though in small amounts. According to The Melisa Foundation “The normal daily intake of nickel by American adults is about 0.3 to 0.6mg. About 1 to 10 percent of nickel in food is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and the remainder is excreted. Certain foods are routinely high in nickel content. Legumes, nuts, grains, potatoes, chocolate and fish are among the food high in nickel.”