You may use some of the following treatments at home to treat contact dermatitis due to nickel allergy. If these treatments don't help or the rash worsens, contact your doctor. Home remedies include the following:
- Use soothing lotions, such as calamine lotion, which may ease itching.
- Moisturize regularly. Your skin has a natural barrier that's disrupted when it reacts to nickel and other allergens. Using emollient creams or lotions, such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil, could reduce your need for topical corticosteroids.
- Apply wet compresses, which can help dry blisters and relieve itching. Soak a clean cloth in Burow's solution, an over-the-counter medication containing aluminum acetate; diluted white vinegar (1 ounce of white vinegar to 16 ounces of water); or tap water. Place the compress over the rash for 15 to 45 minutes. You can repeat this process several times a day.
- Apply over-the-counter topical corticosteroids (hydrocortisone), which may lessen itching and improve the rash. You can apply to the affected area before applying a wet compress to allow better penetration into the skin. Talk to your doctor about how long you can safely use the product.
- Try over-the-counter oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which may help relieve itching for a short time, but tend not to be effective for this type of allergy.
Avoid certain over-the-counter ointments, such as antibiotic creams, which may contain ingredients — particularly neomycin — that can worsen an allergic reaction.
Mar. 13, 2013
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- Darlenski R, et al. The many faces of nickel allergy. International Journal of Dermatology. 2012;51:523.
- Tips to remember: Allergic skin conditions. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/allergicskinconditions.stm. Accessed Dec. 4, 2012.
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- Two cents about nickel. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Libraries/EL-skin-allergies-nickel-patient.pdf. Accessed Dec. 4, 2012.
- Usatine RP, et al. Diagnosis and management of contact dermatitis. American Family Physician. 2010;82:249.
- Tattoos and body piercings. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media/background/factsheets/fact_tattoos.html. Accessed Dec. 6, 2012.
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- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Dec. 6, 2012.
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