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Piercing jewelry is not the "go-to" reason for nickel allergies.

There are studies (e.g. Finland) that nickel allergies might be being incorrectly attributed to jewelry metals (e.g. nickel in jewelry for pierced ears). There is evidence that the diet and other factors may be major contributors and that "nickel" allergies come and go with the ingested foods we eat. Nickel in food accumulates in the body over time and can cause the allergy. Oatmeal, whole grains, nuts, soy contain trace amounts that build up.


"As people try to eat healthier, they’re actually eating more nickel,” says Dr. Matthew Zirwas, a dermatologist at Ohio State who has seen a gradual increase in nickel food allergies over the past five years. …For people who have puzzling rashes and have had reactions to metal items such as earrings, belt buckles or watches, Zirwas suggests they pay attention to their diets. In addition to avoiding foods that are high in nickel, Dr. Zirwas tells patients to take vitamin C with every meal because it will bind to the nickel in the food and prevent absorption….It can be really hard to figure out that the nickel in their diet is the source…Nickel is one of the most common metals in our environment. It naturally occurs as a mineral in soil and in drinking water. Nickel is commonly used as a protective coating for other metals and it is used in coins, glass, ceramics, magnets and batteries. Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, Rash of Nickel Food Allergies linked to a Healthier Diet, March 1, 2012