What is nickel allergy?

Nickel is a highly sensitising metal with an almost ubiquitous distribution that can cause both eczematous skin manifestations such as ACD and, with coexisting ACD, clinical pictures with systemic involvement, such as urticaria, angioedema, erythema, pruritus sine materia and gastrointestinal disorders, called systemic nickel allergy syndrome (SNAS).

Nickel is contained in a large number of everyday objects.

Significant amounts are also contained in various foods, and it is precisely nickel ingested in the diet that is responsible for the onset of systemic nickel allergy syndrome.

«SNAS is characterised not only by the cutaneous manifestations of a contact allergy (ACD – allergic contact dermatitis), but also by generalised allergic reactions to nickel in food»

The most common symptoms

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Gastrointestinal symptoms
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Skin symptoms

The most frequent gastrointestinal symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and tension, meteorism, constipation, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux.

The most frequent skin symptoms are urticaria and eczema in areas that are not in direct contact with nickel, flare-ups of allergic contact dermatitis and systemic dermatitis.

Useful information

  • Avoid canned foods
  • Use Teflon or glass pans
  • Use only 18/c steel pots
  • Avoid cooking in foil
  • Avoid aluminium foil for wrapping foods
  • Prefer foods stored in glass containers
  • Use baking parchment when cooking on cast-iron pans or plates
  • Do not drink tap water immediately but let it flow
  • Add salt to the pot containing water for pasta only when the water boils
  • Use gloves to avoid direct contact when using bleaching agents, detergents and hair dyes, paints, enamels and mineral oils, chemical fertilisers, cement and cosmetics