On the blog, we discussed about how much of an impact that it causes in terms of preventing individuals with atopic dermatitis from regaining control of their condition as well as gave helpful tips in preventing nickel allergy!
Today I wanted to update readers some information that I recently came across. A study was published in 2011 that looked at the relationship between bacteria and nickel allergy. Basically what they did was inject the ear of mice with nickel and found that certain bacteria products in combination with nickel was able to trigger an allergic reaction, but when nickel was given by itself, did not! How important is this? Well let’s break it down!
- Your body’s immune system is very much a part of the triggering phase. It creates inflammation in response to foreign material such as bacteria and other chemicals. Sometimes, the concentration of nickel you are exposed to is so small that it sneaks by undetected and you have no problems! But the study showed when you add bacteria, the risk of being sensitized increases! And like all types of contact allergies, once you’ve been exposed, you will always have an allergy to the chemical substance.
- Everyone has bacteria on the surface of their skin. When you get a cut on your skin or if there’s a problem with the skin barrier (like in eczema), you can be exposed to bacteria! Even a simple scratch can create a front door for bacteria. Put that in combination with, let’s say, wearing a nickel-containing bracelet, and you could potentially put yourself at risk for nickel allergy!
- Your mouth also is full of bacteria. Brushing your teeth is vital to controlling the amount and prevents infections. However, if you accidentally damage your gums while brushing your teeth, it also can create the same scenario as above.
So as you continue your daily routines, be mindful of what you’re wearing and what you touch! Make sure you also brush your teeth properly and keep your jewelry clean. If you’re still struggling with what you suspect may be an allergy to nickel, visit your dermatologist to get tested!