Nickel can be found in a lot of metals such as sterling silver jewellery. Some individuals have a sensitivity to nickel, which causes them to break out in a rash. This rash can itch or burn and is not only uncomfortable, but unsightly. There is nothing you can do to get rid of a nickel allergy. You must be conscious of what jewellery you wear and what metal you come in contact with.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Anti-bacterial soap
- Cortisone cream
- Calamine lotion
Remove any jewellery or get away from the metal that is causing the allergy. This is the first step in treating the nickel allergy. If you don't get away from the metal, then nothing you do to treat the allergy is going to get rid of it.
Wash the infected area with warm water and some antibacterial soap. You need to get the rash clean before you can put any cream on it.
Apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream. You want to look for one that contains aloe (see resources). Aloe is a natural healer and will work to get rid of your rash fast. The cortisone will work to reduce any itching and inflammation. Apply the cream every two to three hours as needed.
Consider using a product like Calamine lotion. The Calamine lotion will cool the area affected by the nickel allergy and keep it from itching. The lotion can be administered by putting it on a cotton ball and then dabbing it over the rash. The lotion will dry and harden on your skin. Reapply as needed.
Take some benadryl. Adults can take benadryl in capsule form, and children can get it in a liquid. Benadryl is an antihistamine and will work to stop the itch from the inside out. Adults will want to take 1-2 capsules every 4-6 hours as they have need. Children will need to get their dosage from the package as it varies by age and weight.
Ask your doctor if you can take Zyrtec if you find that the benadryl isn't strong enough to relieve your symptoms. Zyrtec is also an antihistamine that relieves the itching associated with the nickel allergy. In some states you can even get Zyrtec over-the-counter.
Visit your doctor to find out if your allergy is severe enough to allow you to begin taking Prednisone. Prednisone is an oral type of cortisone which is more effective than just the cream because it works throughout your entire body. This is helpful especially if the rash from the nickel allergy covers a large area.
Keep yourself from scratching the rash. That will only cause scratches and maybe even cuts. That will make it harder for you to treat your nickel allergy. If you must put a bandage over the rash to keep yourself from scratching it than do so.
Create your own homemade compress by placing one part vinegar and 16 parts water in a bowl. Mix and then soak a wash cloth in the bowl. Wring the wash cloth out a little so that it is not dripping and lay it over your rash. The compress will cool the area and help to get rid of any itching. It will also dry out any blisters that have formed on your skin as a result of the nickel allergy.
Tips and warnings
- If you aren't sure what jewellery contains nickel, you should ask the jeweller before you buy it.
- Even zippers can be made with nickel. You may want to check some of your jackets and jeans to make sure they don't contain any nickel.
- Never take more than 300mg of benadryl in one 24 hour day.
- Benadryl reacts with many other medications including MAOI inhibitors. Do not take benadryl if you take any other medications without checking with your doctor first.
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