Costume jewelry and watchbands are traditional sources of allergic reactions in people with metal allergies.  Currently, the popular trend of body piercing has resulted in increasing numbers of cases of contact dermatitis caused by metal allergies.  Uncomfortable and often unsightly rashes develop in the general area of the piercings.  Perspiration around the piercings can spread metal ions over a wider area of skin and increase the severity of the allergic response.  An allergist can suspect a metal allergy by looking at the location of the rash, but the only way to confirm a metal allergy is with an actual allergy test.  Once an allergy has been confirmed, items containing nickel should be avoided in order to prevent future allergic reactions.

P.S.  Most metal alloys, even 14K gold, contain nickel.  Stainless steel and 18K gold do not contain nickel.

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