Nickel allergy - practical advice and help
Nickel allergy - introduction
Nickel allergy symptoms
Nickel allergy and coins
Nickel allergy - cure?
Nickel allergy - dealing with daily dirt
Nickel allergy - avoiding getting a Nickel Allergy!
Keeping items which contain nickel - how to deal with them
Finding out whether you have a Nickel Allergy - testing and advice
Stopping the itch-scratch cycle
Testing items for Nickel content
Testing keys for Nickel content
Choosing Nickel-free products
How to shop for Nickel-free products
Finding Nickel-free products
Finding Nickel-free belts
Finding Nickel-free jewelry
Finding Nickel-free watches
Finding Nickel-free spectacles
Finding Nickel-free jeans
Finding Nickel-free buttons and rivets
Nickel in jewelry metals
Nickel in gold jewelry
Protecting your hands
Shopping for protective gloves
Contact information and About nickelallergyfree.com
Nickel allergy - how do I know whether something has nickel in it?
Too many metals are alloyed with nickel - this gives them extra strength but gives the potential for causing or excacerbating a nickel allergy. Even gold often contains nickel - higher karat numbers imply fewer impurities in the gold. "Impurities" in the case of gold simply means other metals alloyed with the gold. The impurities make the gold stronger and more hard wearing and may be used to change it's color but give the potential for quantities of nickel in continuous contact with the skin (via a ring, necklace, earrings, watch, etc).
However the important factor is not actually total nickel content but whether the nickel is "free" - ie is soluble in sweat or other liquids. It the nickel is chemically bonded such that it won't come out, it is much less likely to cause a problem.
Nickel test kits
You can find out whether an item has free nickel by using a nickel test kit. Test kits are multi-use, inexpensive, easy to use and can be used to test any metal item with enough surface area to rub the test on. Use it on jewelry, tools, watches, buttons, zippers, coins, etc.
The kits are very simple to use - there is one premixed solution which you drop on to (eg) a cotton bud - a few drops. Then rub the wetted end of the cotton bud on the item in question... if free nickel is present, the tip will turn red.
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