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Author Topic: Why does nickel jewellery cause skin reactions, but gold does not?  (Read 2652 times)

Offline chris

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Some people seem prone to skin reactions triggered by custom jewellery containing nickel. Yet gold is extremely well-tolerated. Why?


 

Offline RD

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Possibly because Nickel (Ni) is more reactive than Gold (Au) ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activity_series_of_metals#A_reactivity_series_of_common_metals

Although some forms of gold are not bio-inert; they can act as a catalyst.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2008 10:08:28 by RD »
 

Offline techmind

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Presumably traces of nickel will dissolve in sweat creating salts which can penetrate the outer layers of the skin - and are very irritant?

I've never worn any nickel jewellery (nor had any problems with the metal parts of jeans buttons etc) but once I cut up a piece of research grade nickel foil using a pair of scissors and a few minutes later the palm of my hand which had been rubbed by the freshly cut edge was more itchy than anything I've ever known - I washed and washed my hands, but it took a few hours for the itching to subside.
 

Offline RD

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Quote
Do gold rings protect against articular erosion in rheumatoid arthritis?
Author(s) MULHERIN D. M. (1) ; STRUTHERS G. R. (2) ; DEVA SITUNAYAKE R. (1) ;

(1) Department of Rheumatology, City Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham, ROYAUME-UNI
(2) Department of Rheumatology, Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, Coventry, ROYAUME-UNI

Abstract
Objective--To examine the hypothesis that gold rings might delay articular erosion at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the left ring finger in ring wearers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods-Consecutive patients with RA were recruited. They were classified as ring wearers if they had worn a gold ring on the left ring finger throughout most of the time since disease onset, or as non-ring wearers if they had never worn a gold ring. Standard hand radiographs (with rings removed, where possible) were taken and articular erosion was quantified at the MCP and proximal interphalangeal joints. Results-Thirty ring wearers (27 female) and 25 non-ring wearers (12 female) were included. The median (25th-75th centile) Larsen score in the left hand ring MCP joint of ring wearers was 1.0 (1.0-2.0), which was significantly less than in their equivalent right hand joint (1.0, 1.0-5.0, p = 0.01). It also tended to be less than the equivalent left hand joint of non-ring wearers (4.0, 1.0-5.0, p = 0.06), with a similar but significant difference observed at the adjacent middle finger MCP joint (p = 0.01). Conclusions-The results of this preliminary study suggest that there may be less articular erosion at the left hand ring, and perhaps adjacent, MCP joints observed in ring wearers with RA. These data support the hypothesis that gold could pass from a gold ring through skin and local lymphatics 'downstream' to nearby MCP joint in sufficient quantities to delay articular erosion.
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=2802084

The protective effect of gold rings in RA could be mechanical rather than chemical: possibly the ring reduces the blood flow to the finger,(blood containing the inflammatory agents), thus slowing disease in "downstream" joints. If this protective effect was mechanical the material the constricting ring was made of would be irrelevant.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2008 08:45:15 by RD »
 

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