Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis


Low Nickel Diet

A sub-population of patients with nickel allergic contact dermatitis will present with manifestations of systemically activated allergic contact dermatitis (aka Systemic Contact Dermatitis, SCD). In cases with widespread recalcitrant nickel allergic contact dermatitis that only demonstrate partial clinical relief following strict nickel avoidance, there may be a component of SCD. Evidence suggests that following a low nickel diet can be efficacious in these patients. A targeted, points-based approach can make the low nickel diet more manageable.

Nickel Quiz

Test your nickel savvy

Nickel allergic contact dermatitis has become a more widely recognized disease process over the last three decades in the United States due to the ubiquitous nature of nickel and the greater detection rate by patch testing. Avoidance of nickel is the key to management of allergic contact dermatitis. Knowledge of sources is paramount. This quiz-based interactive educational tool can be used to test your savvy on the sources of nickel.

Photo of positive DMG test

Avoidance by testing

Avoidance of nickel is necessary to resolve the rash of allergic contact dermatitis.  Fortunately tests are commercially available to test products for nickel content.  Click here for more information and purchasing links to Dormer Laboratories Inc. and

  • Identify an object to test
  • Place a few drops of the solution onto a cotton applicator
  • Rub the metal area in question for a few seconds
  • Check the applicator to see if it turns pink
  • If it turns pink, it means free nickel is released.

Call to Action

Call to action

With the ongoing nickel epidemic in this country, it is up to each one of us to take action on limiting exposure to this element.  Ways to get involved:

  • Report cases to the Food & Drug Administration
  • Report mislabeling of products to the FDA
  • Encourage the FDA to issue a health advisory and develop a MedWatch hotline for reporting index cases
  • Join the discussion at the Nickel Allergy Alliance, our Facebook page.
  • Join and share the discussion at our Blog, to bring awareness

Nickel Allergy Alliance

Dermatitis Academy – Nickel Allergy Alliance

Here is a Facebook group for those who are allergic to nickel:  Dermatitis Academy – Nickel Allergy Alliance. The Nickel Allergy Alliance (NAA) is a groundswell subcommittee developed by participants in the Pediatric Contact Dermatitis Registry, and its supporters. It was formed to track the growing number of confirmed nickel dermatitis cases and to serve as a voice for all those concerned with the increasing prevalence of nickel allergy in the US.

Nickel Institute

The Nickel Institute

“Nickel Institute is the global association of the world’s primary nickel producers who together account for approximately 85% of worldwide annual nickel production outside China. Our mission is to promote and support the use of nickel in appropriate applications. NI grows and supports markets for new and existing nickel applications including stainless steel; and promotes sound science, risk management, and socio-economic benefit as the basis for public policy and regulation. Through our science division NiPERA Inc. (, we also undertake leading edge scientific research relevant to human health and the environment.”


Decrease exposure to nickel

Lowering the amount of nickel exposure is the definitive treatment of allergic contact dermatitis to nickel.  Purchase nickel free products from reputable companies (e.g. that certify their wares have been tested and always confirm nickel free by DMG testing products!

Nickel Study Survey

Take the Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis Survey

“You are invited to participate in a survey entitled ‘Patient Registry of Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis.’ The goal is to assess the number of people in the United States confirmed to be allergic to nickel. This information is intended to be used to encourage policy makers to establish safer use guidelines for nickel in common items like earring posts, keys, door handles and electronics. The survey will take about 1 minute to complete and will ask you questions about your allergy to nickel, for example, when, how, and by whom you were diagnosed.”

NACD A4 Report Tile

NACD Report A4

“On the clinical side of the debate, Gentofte University Hospital’s Jacob Thyssen referred to NACD as a ‘global health issue’ and called for greater enforcement of the regulations at a European level together with the use of appropriate alloys. He also stated that an area of focus should be body piercings and non-compliant jewellery as they carried the main threats as the primary cause of nickel sensitisation and NACD”


Barrier protection from nickel

While avoidance is the gold standard therapy, exposure to nickel can be lowered by using barrier creams, such as the ones available from Skintifique.  Such creams form an invisible barrier between the item containing nickel and your skin, so that the skin is less exposed and therefore does not react.

Goblin’s Copper

Nickel Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Ni-ACD) Gallery

Where can you find nickel?

How to test for nickel


MD in 3

Break the Cycle

CAMP – Avoidance