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Mixture of a metal with one or more other elements.

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Practice Alloys
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Itching for Beauty

Itching for Beauty


Credit: Earpiercing
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Studearring.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Did you ever hear the old saying, “Beauty hurts”? If you are allergic to nickel and wear jewelry containing the metal, it may not hurt but it may be very uncomfortable. You’re likely to itch and suffer other skin allergy symptoms.

News You Can Use

  • Nickel allergies are one of the most common skin allergies. As many as 40 percent of females, for example, are allergic to the metal.
  • Credit: Grannies Kitchen
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grannieskitchen/4892593807/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Nickel was once used to make table utensils [Figure2]


  • Many personal products that are worn against the skin—from earrings to belt buckles—are alloys that contain nickel. Unfortunately, a product’s tag may say that it’s nickel-free, but parts of the product may still contain nickel and cause allergies.
  • You can learn more about nickel-containing products and nickel allergies by watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QcJe6csaG8

Show What You Know

Read about nickel allergies at the links below. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. What are the most common symptoms of nickel allergies?
  2. Where do the symptoms appear? How long after exposure to nickel before the symptoms usually show up?
  3. What are examples of items worn or used against the skin that may contain nickel?
  4. What is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction to nickel?
  5. What metals and alloys are generally nickel-free?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Earpiercing; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Studearring.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Grannies Kitchen; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grannieskitchen/4892593807/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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