What is causing my skin allergy
The symptoms of metal hypersensitivity are caused when the body’s immune system starts to view metal ions as foreign threats. The cells that make up the immune system normally kill foreign bacteria and viruses by causing inflammation. If they start attacking metal ions that you touch, eat, inhale, or own implanted in you, they can produce a variety of symptoms (see the symptoms and complications section, below).
Potential metal allergens (triggers of allergic reactions) are extremely common in everyday life. Typical sources such as watches, coins, and jewellery come readily to mind. However, there are also other less obvious sources of metal in our daily lives. For example, cosmetic products and contact lens solutions may also contain metals that can trigger a reaction at the area of contact.
Nickel is one of the most frequent allergens, causing significant local contact dermatitis (skin reddening and itching). Cobalt, copper, and chromium are also common culprits. These metals can be found in consumer items such as jewellery, cell phones, and clothing items.
Aside from everyday items, medical devices also contain possible allergens such as chromium and titanium.
Older dental implants and fillings are often made of metals. A few intra-uterine devices (IUDs) for birth control are made of copper and can also cause hypersensitivities. Implantable devices such as artificial knees, artificial hips, pacemakers, stents, and fracture plates, rods, or pins may contain metals that can cause metal hypersensitivity reactions. These reactions are often more severe in nature when the allergens own been implanted within the body for an extended period of time.
In addition, people who already own an autoimmune disorder (a disorder where the immune system is overactive) can own a higher risk of a metal hypersensitivity, as their immune system is in a constant state of activity.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment of metal hypersensitivity is highly individualized, as the allergens and reactions can be extremely diverse from person to person.
Skin hypersensitivities can often be resolved by avoiding the item that causes the reaction. If the dermatitis is more significant, the doctor can also prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce the local inflammation. The doctor can also prescribe oral antihistamines to further reduce the allergic reaction. Oral corticosteroids can also be used, but they can cause problematic side effects.
Systemic reactions are more hard to resolve, as they are often caused by implants.
Removal of the implant is sometimes considered when a non-metal replacement is available and may be used. For example, a plastic-based dental filling material may be used to replace a previous metal dental filling. However, if the allergy is caused by an artificial knee or hip, replacement with a non-metal option is rarely done due to the difficulty of replacement. For these situations, treatment generally involves both topical (surface-applied) and oral medications to reduce the allergic reaction.
Due to the hard nature of treating systemic metal allergies, doctors sometimes recommend a hypersensitivity test before an implant is chosen.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may own regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Metal-Hypersensitivity
Poison Ivy Resources We Love
Beyond Poison Ivy: Related Allergies
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI)
How could an allergy to mangos or cashew nuts possibly be related to poison ivy?
This expert response explains the concept of cross-reactivity and how certain allergens can happen in diverse plants.
Best Tips for Gardeners
There’s nothing love beautifying your yard with flowers and shrubs, but what about when plants you don’t desire show up? These step-by-step instructions describe how to remove and dispose of poison ivy safely, without getting a rash or endangering others.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE)
If you’re still not certain what Eastern poison ivy — which can be found as far west as Arizona — looks love, this site can assist you out with photos of diverse parts of the poison ivy plant at diverse times of year, as well as links to other resources on identifying the plant and treating the rash.
Favorite Homegrown Advice on Poison Ivy
Heading out for a hike or some yardwork?
Check this site first to make certain you can identify poison ivy and poison oak. If you ponder you might own touched poison ivy or already own a rash, check out The Rash. But visit the Hall of Fame, containing photos of some of the worst poison ivy rashes ever, at your own peril.
‘How to Never Own a Serious Poison Ivy Rash Again’
People who spend a lot of time exterior, such as hunters, landscapers, and outdoor recreationists, tend to know a lot about poison ivy, often from personal experience.
Here, vlogger Extreme Deer Habitat explains how to prevent a serious rash even if you’ve come in contact with it. Hint: Time is of the essence.
Good to Know if You Work Outside
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
If you work outdoors, you’ll desire to check out these recommendations for avoiding exposure to poison ivy and applying correct first aid techniques if you come in contact with it.
Have you ever wondered what effect climate change will own on poison ivy?
Climate Central, an independent organization of scientists and journalists has, and what they predict is not beautiful.
What the Medical Professionals Tell About Poison Ivy
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
Come for the straight talk on poison ivy, oak, and sumac; stay for the additional warnings on — and locator map for — giant hogweed, poison hemlock, cow parsnip, wild parsnip, poodle-dog bush, and nettle.
Family doctors are often the ones who diagnose and treat poison ivy, so it’s not surprising that this website has some basic instructions for recognizing it, treating a rash if you develop one, and talking to your doctor about the allergic reaction.
As usual, the Mayo Clinic offers just the facts, with a helpful list of home remedies for cooling below a rash and easing the itching.
MedlinePlus links to a variety of English and Spanish-language resources on poison ivy, as well as resources aimed at children and teens.
Best Leisure Reading on Poison Ivy
Science History Institute
Did you know that 18th-century Americans sent poison ivy seedlings to Europe for cultivation in royal gardens?
Or that doctors of the era thought poison ivy had healing powers? If you’re laid up with a poison ivy rash or just need something exciting to read, this article will hold you fascinated and entertained.
Posted on: May 02, 2016
So, You’ve Been Diagnosed with Hives!
by Richard S. Roberts, M.D.
So, if acute hives don’t seem to own an allergic cause what else could be going on? One of the more common presumed causes, especially in children is post-infectious hives. During or within a week of viral, strep or other infections hives may happen through poorly understood mechanisms.
This often leads to confusion when antibiotics own been given for the infection. Were the hives from the antibiotic or from the underlying illness? Post-infectious hives can recur for up to 6 weeks. At times, even without infection or any obvious trigger a few hours to a few days of hives happen. These are called acute idiopathic hives. We assume that the immune system is inappropriately activating the skin mast cells but we don’t know why.
We don’t ponder that stress is a common cause.
So, your hives own gone on for more than 6 weeks, so they drop into the chronic urticaria category. Now what? Once again you’re not alone. Approximately 3 million Americans of every ages own the same problem. There are some significant things that you should know.
The first is that, unlike acute urticaria, less than 5% of the cases are due to some external cause. Also, unlike acute urticaria, the hives and /or swelling are rarely dangerous. In this form of hive problem various quirks and idiosyncrasies of the immune system, as they relate to mast cells, are the primary cause.
Our understanding of the problem is improving but there are numerous unanswered questions. The best understood of these idiosyncrasies is called chronic autoimmune urticaria.
Approximately 45% of every chronic hives are of this type. In this condition the immune system makes a detectable antibody (for which we own a test) that mistakenly thinks that parts of the mast cell surface are the enemy. This antibody attacks the skin mast cells which leads to the release of histamine, etc. It’s been known for a endless time that if our body makes one autoantibody type of error it’s easier for it to make other autoantibody mistakes.
Therefore, it’s not terribly surprising that in chronic autoimmune urticaria approximately 20% of patients, especially women, will also own autoantibodies that target the thyroid gland. This may lead to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and periodically blood tests for thyroid function should be checked. Unfortunately, treating this thyroid condition probably does not benefit the hives.
The next most common type of chronic urticaria is chronic idiopathic urticaria.
This condition is almost certainly due to the immune system’s interaction with mast cells but the details are unknown. Both chronic autoimmune and chronic idiopathic urticaria may worsen during febrile illnesses, with the use of aspirin family medicines, prior to the monthly menstrual period or with sustained pressure to or rubbing of the skin. Individual hives that sting more than itch, leave bruises and final 3 or more days may indicate hives due to vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels).
Other forms of chronic hives own to do with the immune system’s reaction to physical triggers.
Hives produced by stroking of the skin is called dermographism. Some people’s hives are triggered just by freezing, heat, skin pressure, vibration, exercise, sun or even water. These conditions are fairly rare. Some exercise induced patients can either react just to exercise while others react only if their exercise follows the consumption of a food to which they are mildly allergic, most commonly wheat, celery and shellfish. These exercise reactions can produce anaphylaxis and may be dangerous.
Another dangerous condition, this one involving angioedema and never hives, is called hereditary angioedema. In these patients swelling of the upper airway can be fatal. Such patients also generally own pronounced abdominal pain from swelling of their intestines. Treatment is available.
So, now that you’ve put your hives into a category how are they treated? For acute hives and rare cases of chronic hives avoidance of triggers is the key.
If the acute hives are already present antihistamines and if severe, a short course of oral steroid is used. For chronic hives daily preventative antihistamines are essential. Doses higher than those used for nasal allergy treatment are often needed. If maximum antihistamine dosing has been reached without control, addition of an H2 blocker (e.g. Tagamet) and/or a leukotriene blocker (e.g. Singulair) may be tried. Maximizing the above therapy should minimize the need for oral steroid.
Relying on recurrent courses of oral steroids (prednisone) especially without full antihistamine, H2 blocker and anti-leukotriene support is to be discouraged. In rare cases cyclosporin or other immunomodulatory medicines may be added. Once control has been achieved medicines should be continued for several weeks or longer past the final symptoms. Slow tapering can then be attempted.
So, why are my mast cells releasing histamine and other things when they shouldn’t? The first question that needs to be asked is for how endless own you had hives? Hives that own been present intermittently or daily for less than 6 weeks are called acute hives, and if longer, chronic hives.
Amongst the numerous possible causes of acute hives those due to allergic reactions get the most attention. In allergic patients the mast cells are coated with an allergy antibody, called IgE, that recognizes a extremely specific target (peanut, penicillin, yellow jacket, etc.). When that substance, such as peanut, becomes attached to that allergy antibody a chain reaction occurs that activates the mast cell which results in the release of histamine and other inflammatory substances. A hive is born! For food allergy reactions, there are 3 useful rules to consider:
- Second, it goes away within a few hours or at the most within a day or two.
Therefore, you never get hives for a week from one serving of peanut butter.
- First, the reaction begins quickly, within 5-30 minutes of eating the food; on rare occasions up to an hour but almost never longer.
- Third, the reaction is reproducible, meaning that if hives were caused by eating 4 peanuts on a Monday, eating 4 peanuts the following week will almost always cause the same problem. Despite favorite belief, artificial food colorings and food additives almost NEVER cause hives.
Hives from antibiotics is a diverse situation. The hive reaction can start anywhere from a few minutes after the first dose to 10 days after finishing the course. Antibiotic related hives can persist for up to approximately 2 weeks.
Allergic hives from stinging insects are generally obvious but occasionally they can be sneaky by occurring while you’re asleep or distracted.
They start quickly after the sting and resolve in a few hours to a few days. In the U.S. spiders, flies and mosquitoes almost never cause hives although rare cases own been reported.
Almost any medicine or herbal product can potentially cause hives but one of the most common medicines implicated is the aspirin family (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.). Isolated swelling without hives is a unique side effect of the ACE inhibitor blood pressure medicines. Soaps, detergents, fabric softeners almost never cause hives but if they do, the hives happen only where the skin is touched.
Airborne allergy to pollen, dust, etc. almost never causes hives unless the person is in the midst of a massive hay fever attack. In an allergic person, direct skin contact with a potent allergic substance love animal saliva or latex can cause hives at the site. Every categories of allergic hives are potentially dangerous while chronic hives are generally not.
Do you really own the Hives?
Don’t despair. You’re not alone. Approximately 20% of the population will own hives (urticaria) at one time or another during their lifetime. First off, are you certain that they’re really hives? True hives are red, itchy, generally raised lesions that look very much love mosquito bites.
They are often circular or oval but can be irregularly shaped. Their size may vary from ¼ inch to several inches in diameter. They may blend together. Each spot lasts anywhere from 4-36 hours and is surrounded by normal looking skin. As they resolve the skin looks normal, not flaky or rough. While the hives are present one spot will be resolving while another nearby is developing. In about 40% of cases localized swelling (angioedema) of the lips, eyelids, hands, feet or tongue also occurs.
So, if these are really hives they must be from an allergy, right? Well, unfortunately it’s not that simple and modern science doesn’t own every of the answers.
The history of how they first appeared and what’s happened to them since can provide significant clues as to what category of hives you own. But first, what actually is a hive? Everyone’s skin is made up of numerous types of cells. One of these cells is called a mast cell. Everyone’s mast cells make and store histamine. They also routinely make leukotrienes and other substances that can cause localized inflammation.
Mast cells don’t generally release much of these substances into the surrounding skin but if they do, these substances, especially histamine produce localized redness, itch and swelling we recognize as a hive or if it’s slightly deeper, angioedema.
So, what’s my prognosis Doc?
As noted above:
- Less than 30% of idiopathic acute hives will go on to be chronic.
- Acute hives resolve spontaneously.
- If you own chronic hives that aren’t of the “physical” type at least 50% will resolve in less than a year and another 20% will resolve over the next several years. The “physical” hives tend to be more endless lasting.
Research is ongoing in every of these areas.
So hold your chin up, take your antihistamine, and get the necessary attention to the type of hives that you have.
People who suffer itching with no clear cause may own previously unrecognized immune system defects. In a little study of such patients, researchers from the Middle for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified immune system irregularities that may immediate the urge to scratch.
The findings are reported in the May issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
“As doctors, we throw things love antihistamines, ointments and lotions at patients who suffer chronic itching, but if there is something profoundly abnormal about the immune system — as it appears there is — then we can’t solve the itching until we address those underlying causes,” said principal investigator Brian S.
Kim, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Dermatology. “The immune system needs to be in balance, and we hope to discover ways to restore that balance in patients with this extremely debilitating condition.”
The researchers took blood samples and skin biopsies from a little sample of patients — only four are reported in the study — to glance for immune problems. They found “an incredible quantity of dysfunction,” Kim said, adding that he has seen similar defects in numerous additional patients not included in the current study.
The four patients researchers zeroed in on were ages 75 to 90.
In blood samples, three of those four had high levels of the protein IgE — an immunoglobulin that is a marker of inflammation. Immunoglobulins are antibodies deployed by the immune system to fight infections. Elevated levels of IgE often are seen in patients with allergies.
The researchers also noted extremely low levels of an immunoglobulin known as IgG; abnormally low counts of a type of immune cell called a CD8 T-cell; and an elevated number of immune cells called eosinophils, which are markers of allergic inflammation.
“Curiously, none of these patients had any history of allergic disorders,” Kim said.
“We often see similarly high counts of eosinophils in patients with eczema, but the patients we studied didn’t own eczema. They didn’t even own a rash. Only itching.”
Kim explained that dermatologists frequently take skin biopsies when a patient has a rash, but with chronic itching of unknown origin, which doctors call chronic idiopathic pruritis, there is nothing evident to biopsy.
The study’s first author, Amy Xu, a medical student in Kim’s lab, said most patients with this type of unexplained, chronic itching tend to be older and develop itching problems later in life.
“It may be caused by some sort of wear and tear on the immune system,” Xu said.
Because of the little number of patients in the study, it’s too soon to draw firm conclusions, but the itching may be an indication that something else in the body is going incorrect, Kim said.
“We own begun working on a mouse model in which the animals own similar defects,” he said.
“We desire to study whether these changes in the immune system create only itching or whether they could be signs that some other problem is present.”
Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St.
Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
Originally published by the School of Medicine
First author Amy Xu and principal investigator Brian S. Kim, MD, found that immune system defects may assist explain chronic itching in some patients. (Photo: Robert Boston/School of Medicine)
Making the Diagnosis
Your doctor may suspect metal hypersensitivities based on a combination of your personal history and your signs and symptoms. To determine possible causes of metal exposure, your doctor may enquire if you own any type of implants, if you smoke, or if you regularly use any cosmetics.
Aside from a thorough personal history, your doctor may also order laboratory tests to confirm whether you own a metal hypersensitivity.
These tests generally involve giving a blood sample at a laboratory. The laboratory technicians will test the white blood cells for their activity against metal ions by using radioisotopes and microscopically observing physical changes within the cells. If the test shows that the white blood cells own increased activity when exposed to the metal ions, it indicates the presence of a metal hypersensitivity.
A dermatologist can also conduct an allergy test in which they expose various metal ions to your skin to test for a hypersensitivity reaction. This allergy test, which is similar to a regular "scratch test," is often done as a "patch test." The metal ions that are believed to be causing the allergic reaction are applied to a patch, which is then placed on the skin.
The patch is left in put for 48 hours, after which it is removed from the skin at a return visit to the doctor.
Skin that is red or irritated under the patch may be an indication of an allergy.
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021
Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system. It is a common condition that affects 10% to 15% of the population.
It can produce a variety of symptoms, including rashes, swelling, or pain due to contact with certain metals (see the symptoms and complications section, below).
In addition to the local skin reactions, metal hypersensitivity can also manifest itself as more chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are numerous local and systemic symptoms that, when considered together, can be caused by metal hypersensitivities.
It is estimated that up to 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel and that 1% to 3% of people are allergic to cobalt and chromium.
These types of reactions can be localized reactions that are limited to one area, but they can also be more generalized and affect other more distant parts of the body.
Symptoms and Complications
Signs and symptoms of metal hypersensitivities can range from little and localized to more severe and generalized.
Limited reactions can appear as a contact dermatitis on the skin that has been exposed to the metal. The skin may appear red, swollen, and itchy.
Hives and rashes may also develop.
More severe metal hypersensitivity reactions generally happen from prolonged exposure to a metal allergen through implants or metal ions that are inhaled or eaten. These reactions often cause chronic joint or muscle pain, inflammation, and swelling, leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, fibromyalgia (pain without known cause) and chronic fatigue syndrome can also be seen in people with metal hypersensitivities.
Common symptoms of metal hypersensitivity include:
- reddening of skin
- muscle pain
- blistering of the skin
- joint pain
- cognitive impairment
- chronic inflammation
- chronic fatigue
The following symptoms and conditions own been linked to metal hypersensitivity.
If you own any of these conditions, you may wish to speak to your doctor about the possibility of a metal hypersensitivity:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- rheumatoid arthritis
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.