What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Gold?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 January 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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What is often thought to be an allergic reaction to gold is almost always an allergic reaction to the nickel salts that are present in gold-plated jewelry. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of an allergic reaction to gold or other metals include itching, redness, or the development of a rash. Bumps, dry patches of skin, or blisters that may rupture and ooze may also occur. Skin irritation caused by an allergic reaction to gold or nickel may increase the risks of developing an infection and should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation.

Many people who think they have experienced an allergic reaction to gold explain it away as being due to the fact that the jewelry was made from what is commonly referred to as cheap gold. A lot of jewelry pieces are covered with gold but contain nickel or other metals as well. True gold allergies are almost unheard of, although symptoms are generally accepted as being an allergic reaction to gold.


Contact dermatitis is the primary symptom of an allergic reaction to gold and other types of metal. The area of skin that comes into contact with the metal may begin to itch or appear red and irritated. Small bumps or patches of dry skin may develop at the contact site. In more severe cases, blisters may appear or the skin may begin to peel. The affected area may begin to ooze a clear liquid or pus may drain from the lesion.

Any potential symptoms of an allergic reaction to gold should be reported to a doctor so that the condition can be carefully monitored. The supervising physician may choose to issue a referral to a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. The patient may also be sent to an allergist in order to confirm the diagnosis of an allergy to gold.

Prescription antibiotics and medicated creams may be used to treat specific symptoms associated with a suspected allergic reaction to gold, although prevention is important as well. Jewelry and other products that may contain triggering metals should be avoided as much as possible. Repeated allergic reactions should be reported to a doctor so that more in-depth testing can be performed. If dental work becomes necessary, the dentist should be informed of any suspected or diagnosed metal allergies, especially if metal caps are scheduled to be used.



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Post 2

You are right Talentryto. I can't even wear costume jewelry because my skin gets itchy, discolored, and irritated.

Post 1

If you have jewelry that you are having an allergic reaction to, chances are that it is not real gold but plated base metal.

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