Health Beat with Dr. Alicia Arnold: Nickel Allergy - Nov. 14th

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Millions of people in our country suffer from a nickel allergy, including eleven million children. Data also suggests that rates of nickel allergy are on the rise. Dr. Alicia Arnold sat down with Tyler Mickelson to talk about the issue.

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Here's a brief summary of the interview in question and answer form. To learn more, watch the video above!

What products can contain nickel?

Dr. Arnold, "Nickel can be found in many every day items such as eyeglasses, jewelry, in particular earrings and body piercings, jean buttons, infant clothing snaps, kids' toys, cell phones, tablets, coins and keys. Even some types of food, like chocolate and nuts can be sources of nickel."

What symptoms do nickel allergic patients tend to have?

Dr. Arnold, "People tend to get an itchy rash either at the area of contact or else it can be more wide-spread. It can look bumpy or even like a burn. The rash can appear hours or even a couple days after the exposure to nickel and may last several weeks."

How do doctors treat this allergy?

Dr. Arnold, "Unfortunately, there is no cure for nickel allergy. Avoidance is key. Your doctor may recommend a cream or an oral medication to help you feel better."

Tips for selecting jewelry if you have nickel allergy?

Dr. Arnold, "Look for jewelry and watches that are nickel-free. You can buy items that should be nickel free such as platinum, sterling silver, or nickel-free stainless steel or 18 karat yellow gold. Be careful with white gold which may contain nickel and cause an allergic reaction. Also, make sure your earring backings are also nickel-free."

Other tips for those who have a nickel allergy?

Dr. Arnold, "You can also use clear nail polish to coat nickel-containing metal of items that will touch your skin, although the polish will wear off and you'll have to reapply. Duct tape may help too if you have to cover things like tool handles. Look for zippers made of plastic or coated metal and watchbands made of cloth or rubber."

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