Family Blog, Featured, Skin

Watch My Nickel Allergy Happen

Q: BUT I’VE USED THIS FOREVER AND NEVER HAD A PROBLEM?
A: NOTHING IS FOREVER.
Before delivering my second baby, despite my never having had a drug allergy, the nurses did the standard test to check for penicillin sensitivity and…all good. Back home with my newborn, I developed an infection, for which I was given a standard penicillin-derived antibiotic I’d taken a few times in the past. Boom: head-to-toe urticaria (welts and hives) and burning pain. I was allergic!
This was just as surprising: as a child, I’d had a metal sensitivity (earrings) that went away quickly. Since then, I’d worn all types of jewelry, care free. Now, after months of using a new fitness tracker…nickel sensitivity!
Allergies are complicated: I could have developed a nickel allergy out of the blue; or always had a mild sensitivity so that occasional use was okay but not daily use for months; or, I could have had a subtle irritant reaction for years and then my cells finally decided…nope, we’re going to remember nickel, and you are now allergic. Allergies can come and go. Don’t obsess about the chances, but don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself allergic to something you’ve used your whole life.
Nickel, by the by, is consistently the top-ranked allergen in published allergen lists.


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Laura is the CEO of VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of our founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister and husband (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about learning, literature, art, health, science, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness and goodness.