Nickel allergy cured

Posted by christador @christador, Sep 4, 2016

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.

My Patch Test was 48 hrs not 5 day and supposedly for 48 different things.

@gardeningjunkie

The 5 Day Extended Patch Test is a common test for allergens in the US. If your doctor is a specialist, either allergist or dermatologist and is not aware of this test he/she is from the middle ages and stop going to that doctor, as he/she doesnt have a current education. Perhaps a family practice doctor would be unaware. It is an expensive test, but covered by most insurance plans and my Medicare and Supplement paid 100%. Contact control is the issue and ridding yourself of your pots and pans was necessary and of course internet research about all the hiding places like in jewelry and such will speed up contact removal. It is most common for those of us with Allergic Contact Dermatitis, ACD, which the patch test is for, commonly have multiple contact allergies. If you still have reaction you either are missing hiding places of nickel or you have other allergy's you are unaware of. You should get tested because you may have other allergens, perhaps not as severe as your nickel allergy, but with each repeated contact your symptoms become more severe. Identify these now.

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Wow, so no needle pricks – only patch test? Where is your Dr.? – Name? Many Years ago, an allergist gave me 12 sheets of lists of brand products I COULD USE – soooo helpful. But, called Many allergist and they do not give out such a list. If I want to buy a product, they will test me on that product. Laborious. thx for info.

@mari

Wow, so no needle pricks – only patch test? Where is your Dr.? – Name? Many Years ago, an allergist gave me 12 sheets of lists of brand products I COULD USE – soooo helpful. But, called Many allergist and they do not give out such a list. If I want to buy a product, they will test me on that product. Laborious. thx for info.

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Please Google and study the 5 Day Extended Patch Test, the test kit patch panels are pricked, no big deal as I was so very motived to find a reason for my misery. Read about the True Test kit as I had 2 of their panels plus one other patch kit for a total of 78 allergens to be tested for. After testing my allergist registered me on the Contact Allergen Management Program, ACDS, CAMP site. This site is annually updated with my specific allergies and has hundreds of grooming, cleaning and other types of products that are free of my allergies. I put in my ID and the endless list goes on and on for over 20 plus pages. It's a good start for safe product research

My wonderful allergist is Brett Hronek MD in Springfield, MO, but he uses standard test kits you should be able to have available all throughout the country.

One of the chemicals I am allergic to is in most adhesives, yet I did not react to the adhesive on the patch panels, so the kit adhesive must be made free with chemicals in most adhesives.

@dancer381

My Patch Test was 48 hrs not 5 day and supposedly for 48 different things.

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Most keep patches on for 5 days. This helps determine if you have a delayed allergic reaction. For 1 of my allergens it did not show up until day 5.
Do all of you understand the difference between Contact Dermatitis, CD and Allergic Contact Dermatitis, ACD? Most of us have CD and will react within a 30 minutes of less to poison ivy or oak. I will react to cedar or juniper leaves within a few minutes. If one berry or leaf part from the red cedar juniper tree goes down my neck while walking under a tree I know! Within a few minutes my neck will itch and I get a welt. This is CD. ACD is more of a challenge as cause and effect is not obvious because of time delay. For example reactions from chemicals and elements in my toilet paper, dish soap, shampoo, clothing, bedding, flooring, shoes, make up paints, one fragrance, all rubber and so on would not show up immediately. It may take days to develop a visible reaction. Then how can we figure out the source of the cause?
Some even wait 7 days with the patches on. Yes I reacted in some cases in 1 day as I could feel certain sites itch, by day 3 of course itching was worse and by day one site began reacting for the first time and others had a small fiercely itchy blisters at the prick source because of the severity of the allergy. Believe me the discomfort of this test is worth the price because of the knowledge I gained which gave me my productive life back.

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