This is kind of strange, but that’s what prompted me to come here in order to post this. I want some kind of record since I am (hopefully and presumably) not the only one affect in this manner.
I have had a nickel allergy all of my life. I first discovered it in my early childhood by wearing blue jeans where the back of the button would leave a rash on my lower stomach. Through the years, I have learned to stay away from nickel and other metals–except that I play guitar. My love for the guitar and my nickel allergy have always been foes. I would practice and play until I would begin to get a rash. Oddly, the rash would change where it occurred almost monthly. Early on, it would appear on my inner thighs. In my mid-teens it would show up on my fingers; in-between…eczema-like. From then on, it mostly would irritate my fingers, but sometimes on my upper-right leg (like at the bottom of my right butt cheek). It has also caused boils on the bottom of my feet, although they seem to contain water and don’t itch a ton. Over the years my conditions seem to slightly get better, but it has always been unpredictable–sometimes after playing for a couple of days a lot, I have not been too bad, and sometimes after playing for 10 minutes, I would really get a rash badly…. I have tried strings made of gold and another type made of stainless steel. The gold strings did indeed minimize the effects of the allergy, but severely degraded the playability and tone–AND the cost was significantly higher making it not feasible to continue to use them on a regular basis. Stainless steel strings were heavy, didn’t sound as good, and still produced symptoms, possibly in part to the materials in the actual guitar (frets, pickups, etc.) and not the strings themselves.
So I was dining with my family and I ordered an Asian dish. I had really crazy spices in it–something I had not tasted before–and for the next three days, I had a rash that pretty much was all over my body (but concentrated in my midsection). That is the last time I remember having a nickel allergy. I usually play guitar for a couple hours a week – 10 minutes here and there, take a couple days off, play for 1/2 hour, don’t play for a day or two… I had a makeshift schedule in my head that until now I hadn’t even thought about. This allowed my to limit my exposure to nickel.
That bring us to today. I bought a new guitar (Paul Reed Smith if you must know lol!) and have been playing it like crazy. I noticed the lack of rash. I noticed the explicit absence of any reaction whatsoever. What’s the deal? I don’t know what to think. I am ecstatic, but at the same time a little reluctant to think it’s totally cured. I have played for a minimum of 45 minutes per day since I first discovered the lack of reaction. So in the last few weeks, I have probably played more than I had played in the last six months or more.
Does anyone have any idea why this would happen all of the sudden? I am cautiously optimistic and am hoping and praying my allergy is finally cured. Thanks in advance for any insight.