As gold prices soar past $900 per ounce, consumers will be looking for more affordable jewelry. Quality gold jewelry will be replaced with more affordable gold plate which often contains nickel used either as a base metal or filler. Jewelry manufacturers use nickel because it is inexpensive while adding luster and durability to jewelry.
Increased exposure to nickel is likely to cause a surge in nickel allergy. Nickel allergy is a form of allergic contact dermatitis affecting over 15% of U.S. women. Nickel salts from the jewelry penetrate the skin and cause sensitization. Once an individual is sensitized to nickel, symptoms such as a red, itchy rash will develop after further contact with nickel. The most typical locations for nickel allergy are earlobes, neck, and wrist where jewelry touches the skin. There is no cure for nickel allergy.
Dermatologists and allergists recommend using a dimethylglyoxime test (dmg spot test) to quickly and easily test for nickel in metal items. In seconds, the test will determine if nickel is present in the metal. The test does not damage the metal item.
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