What Foods To Avoid If You Have A Nickel Allergy?

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Nickel Allergy

If we can eat food we want at any time of the day and any food, we should be grateful as there are many people who are unable to do so due to health conditions such as allergy. You may be familiar with allergy towards food that contains egg, nuts or wheat but you may not be familiar with those who have nickel allergy. If you ask a doctor, you will be surprised to know that many kinds of allergies exist in this world.

Nickel is a silver-coloured metal which is often mixed with other metal to make eyeglasses frames, jewellery, coins and many other common items. When we talk about nickel allergies, we are referring to nickel allergy contact dermatitis. It is rash or eczema of the skin who is allergic to nickel. As a matter of fact, nickel allergy is one of the common causes for contact allergic dermatitis. Contact allergic dermatitis is a form of dermatitis triggered by reaction to allergen. Allergen are substances that do not cause an immune reaction in normal people but those with allergic reaction will show reactive immune response when exposed to allergen.

Nickel allergy is a type of allergic contact dermatitis commonly encountered with jewellery, kitchen tools and silverware. Studies show that nickel is the most common allergen for contact allergy in 20 000 patch-tested individuals from the general population with 20.1%. Females are more likely to be affected by nickel allergy. This may be due to the fact that women are likely to have piercings more than men even now we can see both men and women of any age, even children can be affected by nickel allergy.

Nickel allergy develops in places where nickel-containing metal is in contact with the skin.  Earlobes, usually from wearing earrings, wrist from wearing a watch strap, and lower abdomen where it comes into contact with a pair of jeans, are the most common sites of nickel allergy. When the area is in contact with nickel and affected by the allergic reaction, the area becomes itchy and reddish. Blistered may be found at early onset of the allergy and dry with thickened skin can be found in chronic cases. Some people may develop symptoms even from quick contact with items containing nickel whereas some may only have symptoms after many years from in contact with nickel. In certain cases, the dermatitis or the skin rash can be found in distant regions but is considered rare. Ome may develop hand eczema many years after the first contact with nickel. Beside the skin affected by nickel allergy that is directly in contact, nickel that is ingested usually from food can cause hand eczema.

Before we talk more about food that needs to be avoided by those with nickel allergy, do you know that most of human food comprises both plants and animals get nutrition from soil itself? The soil itself already has nickel contents of its own which will help us understand what food to avoid. Nickel is also present in most dietary items of humans which means that sufficient amounts of nickel in diet can provoke dermatitis in those with nickel-sensitive condition.

There are certain foods that need to be avoided and addressed well in order to reduce the likelihood of triggering nickel allergy. This includes foods that are usually high in nickel such as cocoa, soya beans, oatmeals, nuts, almonds, chocolate and legumes. Patients might also want to avoid vitamin supplements and drinks that contain nickel. Canned food is also included in this avoidance. Seafood and certain fishes such as tuna, salmon and mackerel may need to be avoided as it is high in nickel. Due to the fact that soil is usually high in nickel and most plants are usually high in nickel, eating animal products such as meats, eggs and milk is considered low in nickel. Despite this, vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage and cucumber can still be eaten and onions and garlic should only be used in moderation in meals.

Beside food that needs to be avoided, there are other steps that need to be taken in reducing the likelihood of nickel allergy, especially in those who have had a reaction before. This includes choosing jewellery that is nickel-free and hypoallergenic, wearing clothes free from nickel such as button, belt buckles, bra hooks, zippers or snaps containing nickels and to cover electronics with protective cover such as cell phones, laptops and tablets. Patients might also want to change their household objects containing nickel with other materials instead.

In essence, nickel allergy is part of contact allergic dermatitis. The condition itself is not life-threatening but it can cause great discomfort. In cases of allergy with rash or blisters that become infected such as the presence of pus or skin rash that comes and goes, it is best to see a dermatologist or immunologist for further answers and clarification.