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Q. Is it possible to desensitize myself to nickel?

Answered by
Dr. Shanza Ikram
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 22, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have been sensitized to nickel from a scalp adhesive for hair replacement. The bond had nickel sulfate. I did this for 10 years. I developed dermatitis or eczema in my brows and eyelids, etc. I have realized since I have decreased my dietary nickel intake and stopped the bonding, my eczema has greatly improved but if I do eat foods high in nickel I get hit. Even two years after I have stopped the hair bonding. Is it possible to de-sensitize myself to nickel? This is a self diagnosis.

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#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have gone through your case. Well, desensitization is a process in which we gradually expose a patient to an allergen until a patient develops a tolerance for it. Till date, it is being considered as a therapy for many conditions such as penicillin sensitivity or rhinitis and in eczema (diagnostic purpose). But specifically for nickel, no studies have been proven for it. Means there is no specific protocol of administration. Nickel is found in many many objects and even when patient develop nickel dermatitis there are cross-reactivities with others products too. In short, desensitization is done for few specific conditions with strict protocols.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate that. Is it possible dermatitis will simply go away on its own over time. I was exposed to the adhesive for 10 years. Can it take a long time to go away? It has been two years since I stopped the adhesive. Can it go away? Also, my platelet count was low side normal. 113 to 130 range. That could have been from the sensitization as well?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

First of all, there is no correlation of low platelets with allergies or eczema or sensitization. It could be due to some other cause means viral illness like flu, etc., or some drugs. The best way is to monitor the count by doing platelet count every other day. Then once you develop an allergy or hyperactive response to an allergen then best treatment is to decrease the exposure. Because subsequent exposure may result in a worse response.

As long as we have good or strong immunity, this will persist and will not go away until we decrease the response by taking immunosuppressant drugs and immune cells are no longer available to react against these allergens. So, decrease exposure to the allergen or immunosuppressant drugs are its management. However, very rarely patients may not develop any reaction after first one but this is only a rare thing. Remember there is no hard and fast rule. Every single patient has a different immune response. We need to understand that.

For more information consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist


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