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How to Treat a Rash From Jewelry

written by: Rafael • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 9/29/2010

If you are asking yourself "What should I do for rash from jewelry?" read on for helpful information. This article will tell you how to treat a rash from jewelry and how to help prevent future rashes.

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    How do you Know if you Have a Rash from Jewelry?

    You may be suspecting that you have an allergy to a particular jewelry. How do you know for sure?

    One of the sure signs of allergy from a jewelry is the presence of a skin rash at the place where the jewelry comes in contact with the skin. If it is a ring the rash will appear in the finger where the ring is used and not in the other fingers. If it is a necklace then the rash may appear on the skin just bellow the neck where the necklace makes contact with the skin. Rashes can go from a simple redness with no itching or pain to strongly cracked and/or blistered skin with the possibility of complications of skin infections.

    Skin rashes from jewelry usually appear 15-25 minutes after the jewelry has been used. It starts with a tingling sensation and can proceed to redness and itching. Tingling is usually the first stage in the rash reaction from a jewelry. A definite positive diagnosis can be made by an allergy specialist or dermatologist. Some lab test may be needed.

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    What Causes this Type of Rash?

    The sensitivity to a particular jewelry is dependent on the individual. Some people can wear any type of jewelry. Others are allergic or sensitivity to a particular metal or component of jewelry. Normally, people are not allergic to gold especially gold from high purity. Usually it is the contaminants of the jewelry that produce allergic reactions. In some cases, a little copper in the gold alloy will produce allergic reactions. There are people allergic to silver so even highly pure silver jewelry will cause allergies. In cheaper jewelry made of stainless steel, nickel is the usual suspect for causing sensitivity.

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    What Should I Do For Rash From Jewelry?

    What Should I Do For Rash From Jewelry? 

    A skin rash is actually a form of dermatitis. According to the Merck Dictionary, dermatitis (eczema) is “inflammation of the upper layers of the skin, causing itching, blisters, redness, swelling, and often oozing, scabbing, and scaling ”

    Nonprescription (over-the-counter) treatments include:

    • For temporary relief of itching and pain you can try a cold compress. This will alleviate the itching and pain of a jewelry rash for a few hours.
    • Use of anti-itch creams that contain camphor, menthol, pramoxine or diphenhydramine (Itch-X, Sarna Sensitive, Benadryl).
    • Use of antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), loratadine (Claritin, Claritin RediTabs, Alavert), or cetirizine (Zyrtec).
    • The use of moisturizing lotions. Dry skin produces itching so by using a moisturizing lotion, dryness is prevented.

    If a rash gets infected, a cream with antibiotics may be needed. However, this type of medicine should be prescribed by a doctor. Also, corticoids could be prescribed for more severe allergic reactions.

    In the majority of cases, the removal of the jewelry and some antihistamine will take care of the rash.

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    References

    Allergies. By Jilian Powers 2007. Editor: Evan Brothers

    http://merck.com/mmhe/sec18/ch203/ch203c.html

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    Image credit

    porah at www.sxc.hu