These Allergies Are On the Rise—Why You’re At Risk

Nickel

baranq/ShutterstockNickel is literally found everywhere. Your cellphone? Yes. Kitchen utensils? Yes. Even some of your gold, silver, and diamond high-end jewelry may contain traces of nickel. And of course, the five cent coin is obviously made of nickel too. Since this silvery metal is commonly found in so many household products, the number of people who suffer from nickel allergies increases each year. Someone with such an allergy may experience an itchy, red, and inflamed rash known as dermatitis or eczema after their skin comes in contact with the metal. Earlobes, wrists, and the lower abdomen are typically affected. But in recognition of this increasing sensitivity, many manufacturers now offer nickel-free alternatives for most products, and if you’re unsure whether your brand-new toaster is made of this pesky ingredient, you can buy a nickel test at your local pharmacy and do at-home testing. “If you’re allergic, you don’t need to run out and buy a new phone; there are special cases that provide protection,” says Clifford Basset, MD, founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. “In a pinch, a product that bonds to the metal or coats it can form a protective barrier—even clear nail polish can do the trick sometimes.” Check out these other weird things you can be allergic to.

Seasonal allergies

Thodsaphol-Tamklang/ShutterstockClimate change and the crazy, new weather patterns seen worldwide not only wreak havoc on the environment, but on your seasonal allergies and sinuses too. According to a new study conducted by the University of New Hampshire, spring is getting longer and coming earlier each year due to mild winters and less frequent snow falls. The transition from winter to spring, known as the “vernal window” is opening sooner, which means seasonal allergies follow suit, also coming earlier and lasting longer than ever before. Other research has shown that increasing levels of carbon dioxide and certain types…

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