By Gary M. White, MD
Allergic contact dermatitis to nickel (ACDn) is one of the most common contact allergies.
- ACDn predominantly affects women.
- Jewelry, e.g., earrings and other piercings, are most typical.
- In a large study of 9,388 subjects, the incidence of nickel (and cobalt) sensitivity increased with each body piercing (2013 Annual meeting of the American Contact Dermatitis Society).
- Belt buckle dermatitis is caused by ACD to nickel and occurs on the lower abdomen.
- The dimethylglyoxime (DMG) nickel spot test is highly specific but only moderately sensitive to nickel [Contact Dermatitis. 2010 May;62(5):279-88].
- All Swedish coins from 2015 are nickel free. However, 3 of the 5 US coins are DMG positive.
- ACDn in the underwire bra occurs in the inframammary area.
- Many cases of ACDn go undiagnosed, resembling eczema.
See also systemic contact dermatitis to foods.
Allergic contact dermatitis to a metal medallion.
The dimethylglyoxime (DMG) nickel spot test can be used to detect nickel in metal items. A pink color is positive.
Allergic contact dermatitis to nickel provoked by an underwire bra. Pediatr Dermatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;31(2):e60
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