Most people experience allergic reactions to food, animals, pollen, and dust, but many other potential triggers exist. Gold can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. People still react when they come into touch with specific forms of gold, even though the allergen that causes gold allergies is not always the gold itself but the metals that are found in it, such as nickel.
Allergic to Gold: What Is It?
Although it may seem contradictory, some people are allergic to gold and cannot wear jewelry made of precious metal. What exactly causes gold allergies are not understood, but the symptoms manifest when the immune system is hypersensitive to gold.
When someone has an allergy to gold, the most common symptoms that they experience are swelling, rashes, redness, itching, peeling, dark spots, and blistering when they touch gold jewelry. The symptoms are usually unique to the person experiencing them; they can range from minor to severe and manifest themselves quickly after touching gold or prolonged wearing.
To treat moderate responses, you will need to remove any gold jewelry that may be irritating the skin, wash the area with water and a block of gentle soap, apply moisturizer, and use a cold compress to alleviate any itching. It is strongly recommended that you visit a medical professional in the event of serious reactions. There are instances when it might be challenging to differentiate a gold allergy from other types of allergies. Still, you will probably experience the same reaction when putting on your gold jewelry. Another factor that can increase your risk of developing a gold allergy is a history of the condition in your family.
In most cases, gold alone does not cause allergic reactions in people. Though gold allergies are uncommon, nickel allergy is widespread; thus, it’s more likely that you’ll have an adverse reaction to the nickel than to the gold itself.
Allergy To Nickel: What Is It?
Because of its low hardness, pure gold cannot be utilized in jewelry production. Because of this, pure gold is frequently combined with nickel and other metals to make it more durable and workable for industrial purposes. The purity of a gold alloy determines the proportion of other metals that make up the remainder of the alloy. Consequently, jewelry made of gold with a low karat content is more prone to allergic responses.
You should be aware that not all gold varieties have an equal amount of nickel, so if you have a nickel sensitivity, wearing some types of gold might be the only time you get a reaction. As an illustration, an allergy may only develop in response to a single component of a set of identical rings, despite all the components being the same carat.
How to Deal with a Nickel Allergy
A nickel allergy could necessitate switching to higher karat gold jewelry. Because the vast majority of people with such an allergy cannot wear 10k gold, you will need to experiment with larger karats of gold until you locate a variety that is appropriate for you.
Avoid gold-plated jewelry like the plague. These items have a very thin film of gold covering them, but with time this layer will wear away, revealing the base underneath, which typically has nickel in it.
White gold contains nickel, so avoid it if you are allergic to the metal. This gold is made of yellow gold mixed with other metals, such as nickel, to make it appear whiter. You can also rhodium-plate your white gold if you want a silvery white finish. The nickel underneath might irritate your skin when this protective coating is worn. If you are set on purchasing white gold jewelry despite this warning, verify that it is nickel-free.
Jewelry made of hypoallergenic metals like platinum, titanium, sterling silver, or stainless steel is the best option for persons with nickel allergies.
When getting jewelry resized or repaired, it is essential to remember to inquire whether the jeweler will be using an alloy containing nickel, as even trace amounts of nickel can cause skin irritation.