Joined: 08 May 2019
|Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:37 pm Post subject: Could jewellery make you ill?
|Could jewellery make you ill?
The latest trend for costume jewellery could be making many people ill, according to a new study from the American Academy of Dermatology.A skin condition called contact dermatitis is the result of an immune reaction to certain substances when they come into contact with the skin.Cheap Jewelry Websites
The most common cause is the metal nickel, which is often used in costume jewellery and watches.As many as one in five people have an allergy to this metal, and many more may develop one simply by wearing too much nickel too often.Even more expensive items of jewellery may give rise to contact dermatitis, because the clasp may be made of nickel. Zips, bra hooks and press studs can also contain it, causing a reaction in the skin.
Professor Nicholas Lowe, a dermatologist from the Cranley Clinic in London, says: 'Nickel is seen by the body as an antigen, or foreign body. If the skin comes in frequent contact with an antigen like nickel, eventually the immune system is likely to react against it.
'It's not a matter of some people getting the condition and others not. Anyone can get it - even if they have worn cheap jewellery for years without any reaction.'Symptoms of contact dermatitis usually occur within six to 24 hours of exposure. The affected skin becomes red, swollen and often blistered or scaly. Eventually, the skin may darken and become leathery and cracked.
While usually the rash is limited to the area of contact with the metal, in severe cases the rash can spread. This is especially likely if the allergen gets into the fingertips, which then can spread it through touch to other parts of the body. The rash can remain for weeks or even months after the antigen has been removed.
In many cases, the cause of the condition is easy to identify and, once removed, the rash will often clear up on its own. Sometimes, however, a non- steroidal antidermatitis cream may be needed, or even a short course of cortisone.
The cause of contact dermatitis is not always so easy to identify and you may need to be referred to a dermatologist, who will do patch tests to identify the problem substance.
'As well as nickel, we test for ingredients in hairsprays, shampoos, some common houseplants, face creams and cosmetics, which can also cause dermatitis,' says Professor Lowe.
'Other antigens such as wood, stains and paints - which are also present in some modern costume jewellery - can also cause the condition.'Often, when I give patients the diagnosis, they will tell me that it can't be contact dermatitis because the trigger is a piece of jewellery that they had been wearing for months or even years without a problem.'But something can change in the immunological balance in your skin that can suddenly make you more susceptible. And once someone has dermatitis, skin becomes more reactive and sensitive.'
The two non-steroidal treatments that are usually suggested by Professor Lowe for the condition are Protopic ointment and Elidel. Both preparations, which are available only on prescription, are much safer for use on the face than treatments containing cortisone, although it may take several days or even a week for the rash to clear.
Professor Lowe also recommends gentle daily cleansing of the affected area with a nonperfumed, soap-free moisturising cleanser, such as PH 5.5, Balmun or Dermol 500 Lotion, which can all be bought at pharmacies.To reduce your risk of getting contact dermatitis, it is best to wear jewellery made of gold or platinum. Silver, unless it is very good quality, is not such a good option as it often has stainless steel in it, usually in the clasp, and this contains nickel.