Metal Allergies: The Problem With Accessories

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( — That an accessory is the touch that over-does an outfit or fails to make it pop may be a minor problem. A studded watch may fail to reel in a lady, but the wearer can catch something else, like allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). This condition involves adverse effects from contact between an allergen and the skin. Jewelry dermatitis is what many call ACD when it is prompted by accessories. And a growing number of cases of are being found.

Most of the the metals used for accessories are mined for industrial purposes. Their primary use is not to adorn humans. If more people knew this and they knew the properties of these metals, there would be less surprise that accessories can be allergens.  The metals most commonly associated with ACD are nickel, cobalt and chrome, with nickel topping the list. Nickel is widely used for stainless steel and alloys, and it is also used as a costume metal for jewelry.

Jewelry dermatitis can result from well known metals such as silver, platinum and gold too. ACD caused by gold has been noted to last longer than the episodes from other metals.  As people are continually experimenting with more obscure metals, such as tungsten and palladium, for accessories, it should comes as little surprise if we witness an increasing number of the rarer allergies in the future.