You're likely to see your family doctor first if you're experiencing an itchy rash that may be related to nickel allergy. Preparing for your appointment can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down a description of your symptoms, when they first appeared and whether they occur in a pattern.
- Make a list of any medications you take, including vitamins and dietary supplements.
- Prepare a list of questions.
Questions that you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What is the most likely cause of my rash?
- What else might cause it?
- Is there a test that can confirm a nickel allergy? Do I need to prepare for this test?
- What are the treatments available for nickel allergy, and which do you recommend?
- What side effects can I expect from these treatments?
- Do I need to see a specialist?
- Can I use over-the-counter medications to treat the condition?
- What home remedies do you recommend, and what home remedies should I avoid?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions:
March 13, 2013
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms changed over time?
- What at-home treatments have you used?
- What effect did those treatments have?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Schram SE, et al. Nickel hypersensitivity: A clinical review and call to action. International Journal of Dermatology. 2010;49:115.
- Usatine RP, et al. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies.; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8206371. Accessed Dec. 4, 2012.
- 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.
- Peiser M, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis: Epidemiology, molecular mechanisms, in vitro methods and regulatory aspects. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 2012;69:763.
- 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.
- Tammaro A, et al. Topical and systemic therapies for nickel allergy. Dermatitis. 2011;22:251.
- 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.