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Allergies

Allergies to metal

09/08/2008

Question:

If any type of metal touches my skin I get exzema. So I can`t wear jewerly or a watch. Even on a string of pearls the metal clasp make me break out.I will more then likely need joint replacement surgery down the road because I have sevre RA. If I get a reaction from metal touching my skin will I get the same reaction from any type of metal but in during a joint replacement?

Answer:

We would recommend you undergo metal patch testing to see what you are sensitized to. If you have a delayed type hypersensitivity reaction to nickel or cobalt then it would be advised you get either a titanium or plastic prosthetic device (based on your doctor's advice). There is a high likelihood of have a reaction to a metal implant if you are sensitized. Although, currently there are no well conducted studies confirming this recommendation, common sense would suggest not to get a metal implant to something you are sensitized to.

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati