Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There is no cure for nickel allergy. Once you develop a sensitivity to nickel, you will develop a rash (contact dermatitis) whenever you come into contact with the metal. Once a particular site, such as an earlobe, has reacted to nickel, that site will react even more when re-exposed to nickel.

Medications
Your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications to reduce irritation and improve the condition of a rash from a nickel allergy reaction:

  • Corticosteroid cream, such as clobetasol (Temovate, Cormax, others) and betamethasone dipropionate (Diprolene). Long-term use of these can lead to skin thinning.
  • Nonsteroidal creams, such as pimecrolimus (Elidel) and tacrolimus (Protopic). The most common side effect is temporary stinging at the application site.
  • Oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone, if the reaction is severe or a rash covers a large area. These drugs can cause a host of side effects, including weight gain, mood swings and increased blood pressure.
  • Oral antihistamine, such as fexofenadine (Allegra) and cetirizine (Zyrtec), for relief of itching. However, these tend to be not very effective for skin itching.
Mar. 13, 2013