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On the Fifth Day of Christmas…


“On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me………. Five Golden Rings”

Who wouldn’t like to receive five golden rings for Christmas?  Gold allergy has been reported in 9% of patients with dermatitis who underwent Allergy Patch Testing.  Most of the individuals with gold allergy were women with rashes on the hands, face, and eyelids.  One third of them also had nickel allergy and almost 20% had cobalt allergy.  Nickel is commonly found in metal jewelry and can be a real issue for those allergic to nickel.   This allergy is called allergic contact dermatitis.  If jewelry or accessories (belts, glasses, etc.) make you itch or leaves a rash at the site where your jewelry is placed, you may have a nickel or another metal allergy.  Nickel is one of the most common skin allergies affecting 14% of people.  Nickel is used in everything from jewelry to coins, zippers, watch bands and eyeglass frames. Symptoms typically begin 6 to 24 hours after exposure and include an itchy red, rash with occasional skin swelling and small blisters. If left untreated, the skin may become dark, leathery, dry and cracked. Usually the rash is only on the area of your skin in direct contact with the nickel or metal.

Don’t worry ladies you do not have to give up wearing jewelry or other metal accessories! Visit these websites for nickel-free jewelry and accessories: or

If you are experiencing a chronic itchy rash, contact an allergist and discuss testing, diagnosis, and treatment options.  The skin test for gold, cobalt and nickel is called an Allergy Patch test and there are NO needles or pain.

For Christmas, keep those 5 golden rings, but if a rash occurs on your fingers or face, consider trading them in for 5 stainless surgical steel rings and go on vacation!

For more information on gold allergy visit:

For more information on nickel allergy visit:

This educational information does not take the place of your physician’s advice.

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