Metal allergies are more common than most people realize. Lots of people suffer from them contact dermatitis caused by some kind of metal. The most common substance to cause a reaction is nickel. But you can be allergic to a whole slew of metals! Joy!
For the longest time I thought I was allergic to nickel. I had a reaction to my glasses when I was about 10 and since nickel allergy is so common, the person at Lenscrafters just told me that I had it. From then on I made sure to get Titanium frames for my glasses and buy hypoallergenic earrings. But for some reason, I kept experiencing symptoms.
When I went to get the Essure procedure I read that the coils they insert are made from a mixture of nickel and titanium. Unsure if I was allergic to nickel or not, I had a metal allergy test done for nickel. The results came back negative, but I was left confused. If I wasn’t allergic to nickel, then just what was I allergic to anyway? Regardless, I got Essure and never had a problem with it. So clearly, nickel was not my problem.
But jewelry continued to cause me to itch, bleed, and scab. It’s clear I was allergic to something. I just had no idea what. Earlier this year, I finally had enough and I decided to find out, once and for all, what in the world I was allergic to. Quite frankly, I had purchased enough earrings that I couldn’t wear.
So off I went to an allergist and explained my problem and symptoms. Since they didn’t know what I had, they tested me for everything under the sun and a few that are underground (see photo of my actual test). When the results came back, I was pretty surprised. I am allergic to gold and Balsam of Peru. Neither of these allergies are very common. I guess I’m just special.
But I’m glad that I finally got it figured out. Not only did it save me countless dollars in earrings that I can’t wear, it also may have prevented me from untold pain and horror should I have ever gotten a gold alloy implant in my body or gold fillings in my teeth. You know, should I ever fulfill my dream of becoming a pirate.
Now cheap jewelry is off limits and I purchase only pure metals that I know I’m not allergic to. I don’t need glasses anymore due to having PRK surgery while I was in college. But for earrings, I’m now wearing Colonial Williamsburg jewelry that is sterling silver. No itching, no bleeding, no redness, no worries! It’s quite amazing.
For anyone who believes they may have a metal allergy, it’s best to figure it out now and be able to make informed decisions of what goes in and on your body from then on. I read an article recently about women who have had the Essure procedure, like I had, and found out that they were allergic to nickel. Being allergic to something implanted into your body will lead to untold agony and the need for surgery to remove it in order to remove the damage.
Knowing your body is so important. Whether it’s an allergy or any other kind of medical problem. People need to know what will cause them problems so they can avoid issues like this in their daily lives and understand how their body will react to a certain substance. Besides, who wants to keep paying for earrings that they can’t wear?