Symptoms of a nickel allergy arise from contact – usually repeated contact with items containing nickel.
Nickel allergy – common symptoms
The most common symptom is chronic itching – itch, itch, itch. The itching is often combined with a red rash, raised bumps and broken skin.
Itchy red rash around your belt buckle?
Itchy red rash around your watch?
Itchy rash on your hands/fingers? Any of these could indicate a nickel allergy.
How to confirm a nickel allergy
Your dermatologist will be able to perform a patch test to confirm a nickel allergy a patch test contains a set of patches with soluble allergens coated onto a number of seperated patches and placed on a sticky backing sheet. Basically the patch test is placed on your skin (for example on your back) and then left there (possibly for a day or two). A severe reaction to one of the allergens will show up dramatically – often with a raised red itchy patch immediately beneath the test for that allergen. One of the advantages of a patch test is that multiple allergens can be tested together. Your dermatologist will know which patch test to choose – and he/she may use a second test if nothing shows up on the “common allergen” test.
There are more detailed tests which carry a larger set of less common allergens and would normally be used if you don’t show an allergic reaction to the first test. Ask your dermatologist for help and advice.