Sharing stories, knowledge, and rants about living with metal allergies.

I Hate Nickel


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Allergy Patch Test

If you suspect you have a nickel allergy, you can verify with an allergy patch test.  Once I had my braces removed, and my symptoms cleared, my doc referred me to a dermatologist to be tested.  It seemed odd to me at the time, since dermatitis was not one of my strongest symptoms, but this is how we get tested for a nickel allergy, regardless.

A patch test consists of taping small amounts of a known allergen to the patients back, and leaving it there for a period of time to see if a reaction on the skin occurs.  The most common type consists of three strips of tape, each labeled with a grid that contains a different allergen in each square.  The doctor tapes these strips to your back, and after two days, voila!, if you do have an allergy, your skin will most likely be inflamed and angry in the square where the allergen was touching your skin.  The test my doc used was by True Test.  I’ve included their link below, which directs to their patient information and the list of allergens that are tested.

A patch test is annoying, but it’s not a horrible procedure.  It’s a lot like wearing a giant band-aid for two days.  You can’t get the patches wet, so no showering or heavy sweating is allowed while you’re wearing the patches.  Three visits are required: one to put the patches on, a second visit 48 hours later to remove the patches and check for results; and a third visit at 72-96 hours to read the results again.  Since patch testing is for Type IV allergies, results may not form for up to a week after exposure.   Mine was itchy and burned a little after day one, but it wasn’t so bad that I had to remove it early.

There are various levels to grade how severe your reaction is that I won’t go into.  If you’re interested, the Wikipedia article has pictures

The TrueTest website has patient info, a list of allergens, and also a nice patient brochure on nickel:

**It might be a good time to mention, I’m not getting paid for endorsing or linking to any particular site or product.  I’m simply sharing my experience and what I’ve found to be helpful!