Allergic reaction to metal

An allergic reaction to metal is an overreaction of the body's immune system to a substance (allergen) in a metal. An allergic reaction to metal can cause intense swelling, pain, and itching.

Nickel is the most common metal allergen. Jewelry that does not trigger an allergic reaction is made from:

  • Stainless steel (grade-300).
  • 14- or 18-karat gold.
  • Niobium.
  • Titanium.
  • Platinum.
  • Dense, nonporous plastic, such as monofilament nylon, acrylic, or Lucite.

Last Updated: September 4, 2008

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology

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