for tattooed people, and those who want to be

the surprising connection between nickel and ink


One of the free e-newsletters I get is from Bottom Line, purveyors of all kinds of interesting information. This one is called Daily Health News, and you can check it out here if you’re interested.

Nickel, a common culprit

Today’s newsletter dealt with the fact that allergy to nickel is becoming more and more common in the USA today. A sensitivity to nickel most often causes a raised, itchy skin rash, which can be quite severe. People can go along for years, coming in contact with nickel through their jewelry, and then all of a sudden they’ve got a rash under their treasured watch or ring or earrings like you wouldn’t believe. It can also, as I can attest, happen if you’ve got bare skin up against the inside of the snap in your jeans.

I got sensitized to nickel when I got my ears pierced for the first time 40 years ago. In those days, you just bought gold earrings of some kind and put them in while the piercings were healing and hoped for the best. My starter earrings weren’t that good. I got a crusty rash while the holes were healing (and had the unenviable task of pulling those first earrings out while the holes were only partway healed, and replacing them with other earrings that I had to sterilize myself as best I could). Forever after, I have had a reaction to nickel in anything that touches my skin for any length of time. (Clear nail polish makes a reasonable coating for earrings that you just can’t give up.)

Related metal allergens in tattoo ink

What I hadn’t known, and found most interesting, is that people with nickel sensitivity may also show a reaction to some kinds of tattoo ink. It is most common with green and blue inks, which contain chromium and cobalt. So if your watch band drives you nuts, you might have problems with your tattoos as well.

Just something to think about. We decorated people have to watch out for our health.

I’ve just summarized the article briefly, here, so if you want to read more I’d suggest checking out the Bottom Line Secrets Daily Health News web site.

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Author: infmom

I got my first tattoo when I was 46. I hope the people who read this blog don't have to wait that long. I love talking about body art.


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