Everyday things you didn’t know you could be allergic to

Jewelry Inexpensive silver-colored jewelry is often made with nickel—one of the most common causes of an itchy rash known as allergic contact dermatitis...


Jewelry
Inexpensive silver-colored jewelry is often made with nickel—one of the most common causes of an itchy rash known as allergic contact dermatitis. About 17% of women and 3% of men have a nickel allergy. The gender difference is largely due to the fact that women have more exposure to nickel through jewelry (especially piercings), which raises their risk of becoming sensitised.

Switching to high-quality sterling silver or 14-karat gold jewelry usually solves this problem although he has heard of very rare allergic reactions to gold, as well. When people wear a lot of gold jewelry and a lot of makeup, the chemicals in the makeup can actually break down the gold and cause reactions with the skin. For these people, he says, platinum is the best bet.


Cellphones and tablets
People with metal allergies may have trouble using cellular phones, PDAs, and tablet devices, (including iphones and ipads ), as these products often contain potential allergens nickel and cobalt. People can get rashes on their face, ears, and hands, and irritation in the eyes if they touch their phone and then touch their eyes.

Once you have a metal allergy, you're sensitive to it for life. But most people are able to safely use these devices as long as they’re covered with a protective case—as long as the case itself contains no metal, of course.


Pant buttons
Nickel strikes again, this time on your clothing. The button on the waist of jeans and other pants is usually nickel, For people who wear low-rise underwear, that metal can be exposed directly on the skin and cause a little circular red rash.

Wearing a layer between your pants and your skin (like tucking in your shirt) can help, he says; so can painting over the back of the button with clear nail polish. If you do realize you’re sensitive to the nickel in your jeans, watch out for it in eyeglass frames, watches, coins, and zippers.


Wool
We know, wool is itchy. But some people who are sensitized to lanolin—a natural wax-like substance produced by sheep—can react even more strongly to apparel and blankets made with wool.

Lanolin is also used in some cosmetics, lip balms, shampoos, and ointments. People with a sensitivity to this ingredient should look for items that are labeled lanolin-free.

Condoms
People who are allergic to latex can experience an irritating rash when exposed to products—like condoms made with the plant-based rubber. Some people can even have an immediate, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which can include difficulty breathing and swallowing.

Fortunately, many items that used to be made with latex (including gloves, hospital equipment, and balloons) are now made with safer materials. Most condoms still contain latex, but those with an allergy can use synthetic rubber or lambskin alternatives.

Cosmetics and skin-care products
Chemicals in makeup, lotions, and sunscreens can sometimes cause a rash known as contact dermatitis, which may show up hours or days after exposure. An allergist or a dermatologist may be able to diagnose these types of sensitivities with a procedure called a patch test.

If you know that you’re sensitive to certain products, you can also test yourself before using a new formula. Take a tiny bit and apply it to the same area of skin three days in a row at night before you go to bed. If you don't have a rash by the end of the third or fourth day, you’re probably going to tolerate it well.

Household cleaners
Ingredients in cleaning products can also cause a similar contact rash. These types of skin reactions aren’t immediate. Initially, it may just look a little red or irritated. But over time you become sensitised to it, and within days, a more chronic rash may appear. (In this way, it’s similar to a poison ivy reaction.)

Skin reactions like these generally don’t trigger life-threatening complications like throat swelling, heart problems, or asthma attacks, the way that other allergies can. But because they can cause serious discomfort and irritation, identifying the cause (and then avoiding it) is still important.

Books
Used bookstores and libraries are known for their musty air and familiar smell—but people with dust allergies can have serious problems in spaces like these when thick layers of dust are stirred up. The same goes for attics, basements, storage rooms, and, yes, the bookshelves in your house.

To keep allergens from accumulating on your home collection, wipe down surfaces and books (and other collectibles) often. And if you’re in the presence of old dusty volumes, consider wearing a mask that filters fine airborne particles.

Source: Health.com



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