Gold allergy: causes, symptoms, prevention, hypotheses of allergic reactions in humans

It is believed that gold can act allergen. In addition to jewelry jewelry благородный металл присутствует в некоторых продуктах питания, в лекарственных препаратах, медицинских приборах. С золотом можно контактировать в косметическом салоне.  Может ли быть вызвана аллергия на золото? Предлагаем разобраться в этом вопросе, рассмотрев свойства благородного металла.

Properties of pure gold as an inert metal

В химии золото считается инертным металлом.  Он не отличается высокой химической активностью, не вступает в реакции. По этой причине metal does not oxidize, is not exposed corrosion, does not interact with many Acids. Отсюда и название: благородный.  Но активно реагирует с кислородом и с водными растворами.  Растворяется во ртути.

Gold is physically exposed to high temperatures: 300-400 degrees Celsius.

Pure Gold Jewelry
Lots of gold jewelry

Of the physical properties of metal stand out:

  • high heat conductivity;
  • gravity;
  • low electrical resistance;
  • traction;
  • malleability;
  • softness.
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Due to its softness, gold successfully combines with other metals. In the manufacture of jewelry, the noble metal is often alloyed with silver, copper, palladium. A single thin ring may be an alloy of five elements.

Pure gold is very heavy. For example, if you fill a liter bottle with gold sand, it will weigh about 16 kilograms. Gold without impurities has a 999.9 grade, which means that it contains no impurities.

This metal is called bank gold, and ingots are made of it.

Ligature gold
Gold bars

What is a ligature and which metals change the properties of gold

В металлопромышленности используется термин «лигатура».  Говоря простым языком, это сплав нескольких metals в разных долях. В золото добавляются дополнительные примеси, которые влияют на свойства благородного металла.  Как меняются его свойства?

  • Alloy jewelry is lighter;
  • The colors and shades of the product are modeled;
  • the cost of the future product is reduced;
  • the finished product acquires a hardness that pure metal does not have.

The properties of a noble metal change depending on what metal is added to it:

  • Copper gives the alloy a reddish hue; it adds hardness;
  • Palladium makes the jewelry white, in addition, this ligature is flame-resistant and does not corrode;
  • Zinc mixed with metal gives a product with a low melting point; it gives a greenish tint;
  • Silver enhances the malleability, giving it a greenish tint;
  • nickel makes the jewelry hard;
  • Platinum is used to impart whiteness, enhances elasticity.

It is acceptable and necessary to use alloys to produce jewelry. But often, unscrupulous manufacturers reduce the proportion of noble metal in the ligature in an attempt to save money.

Ligature and ligature gold
Ligature gold on the scales

Types of gold with impurities

In the jewelry market, you can find gold jewelry in different colors. Buyers think that these are varieties of metal, but in fact pure gold has only one color: yellow, gold. The colors of products are the results of alloys.

Read also
Melting temperature of gold: the effect of the alloy (585 or 999) and ligatures; the important process of cleaning gold before melting and melting the metal at home

Gold jewelry in white is highly prized in the jewelry world. White is a sign of nobility and purity. It's no coincidence that white gold is quickly purchased by fashionistas.

In fact, the white color is obtained by alloying gold with palladium or platinum.

Such pieces are of high quality and have a long wear life. For example, Turkish jewelers use cheaper nickel instead of palladium and platinum. Naturally, this fact is ignored, and the product is passed off as natural.

The danger of nickel is its allergenicity.

Europeans love gold jewelry with a lemon hue. Color This is obtained by adding silver. As a result, the jewelry can have different colorsFrom rich white to bright Lemon.

Types of gold with impurities
Gold rings in different shades

Why gold allergy symptoms appear

Surprisingly, pure gold does not cause any allergic reactions. But cases when a rash can appear on the place of the jewelry, are frequent. How can this be explained?

Irritant impurities

The irritant may not be the noble metal, but one of the alloying elements. A common allergen is nickel, which is added to alloys because of its low cost.

If it seems that you are allergic to a gold ring, it is possible that the product is made of a metal with impurities. 

The only advice for avoiding contact with such jewelry is to buy it in a trusted store and to ask for a license for the product. In addition, you should always buy jewelry made of gold of the highest standard. Such items are more expensive, but safer for your health and of higher quality.

Gold in contact with household chemicals

Another cause of an allergic reaction: getting drops of detergent on a ring or bracelet, or shampoo or shower gel on earrings or a chain. From the jewelry products get on the skin and cause a rash. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you remove jewelry before cleaning, washing dishes. You should also take them off during water procedures.

Read also
How Gold Affects the Human Body: Functions of Gold in Human Life; Effects of the Metal on Women and Men
A common allergen is nickel
Golden Ring

The small size of the jewelry

We are not talking about allergies, but rather about skin chafing. For example, a girl wears a small gold ring. Tightly wrapped around her finger, it rubs the skin, causing redness and a rash. The place begins to itch or hurt.

Large pieces of jewelry pressed tightly against the skin

Overly bulky jewels pressed against the skin surface disrupt natural perspiration. Pathogenic bacteria, which are irritants, appear and begin to actively reproduce on this site.

Often such cases are mistaken for manifestations of allergies.

Manifestations of allergies and places of their localization

If you pay attention, you can notice that the so-called allergy to gold articles появляется только в местах соприкосновениях их с кожей.  Основные места локализации симптомов:

  • ears, earlobes in this place the reaction does not appear as often, since the main part of the jewelry hangs in the air;
  • neck, neckline may be covered with a rash after wearing necklaces with pendants;
  • wrists suffer after wearing bracelets or watches;
  • fingers are the most likely to be allergic because rings the most popular decorations.
Irritant impurities
Allergic reaction on the neck from a gold chain

How can it manifest itself gold allergy?

  • Itching, and unbearable, appears literally half an hour after contact with the skin;
  • Peeling is more often caused by dry skin in places of contact with the jewelry;
  • The skin rash appears mostly in places where the jewelry has come into contact with it, but then spreads to the rest of the area;
  • Swelling is often seen on the fingers if the gold rings are tight;
  • pain, of course, accompanies the external manifestations: redness, swelling;
  • the formation of purulent inflammation can occur in advanced cases;
  • watery bubbles also I on the places where there were rednesses, and which were not paid attention to;
  • The stains are predominantly dark if there is a lot of copper in the jewelry;
  • pains are more often caused by rubbing;
  • purulent formations occur in very advanced cases.

The slightest of these symptoms is a signal that the jewelry should be removed.

First aid in case of an allergic reaction to gold jewelry

If symptoms of allergy to gold jewelry are found, they should be removed. Most often, redness or rashes go away on their own within a few hours. If they do not go away, you need medical attention. What doctor should I see? Who treats allergies?

  1. Therapist. You first go to your neighborhood therapist. He determines the nature of the disease and refers you to a specialist.
  2. An allergist directly examines and treats all types of allergies. To determine the exact nature of an allergic reaction, a number of tests will be needed.
  3. A dermatologist can help to eliminate the external manifestations of allergies on the skin: rashes, redness, blisters. Treatment is done with medications: pills, gels, ointments, lotions.
  4. Immunologist. Sometimes allergies can be caused by completely different causes, such as immune system malfunctions. An immunologist is a specialist who identifies these causes and helps eliminate them.
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Often you don't need ointments or pills to get rid of allergies. It is enough to strengthen the immune system, improve nutrition, and allergic reactions will pass on their own.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines for allergies

Dermatologist's recommendations for the treatment of allergic manifestations

To relieve allergic symptoms, antihistamines are prescribed. Their functions: to block allergies, eliminate itching, pain, and relieve redness. They include: Fenistil, Soventol, Psilo-balm. These are drugs of external application: ointments, gels.

If the wounds do not heal for a long time, dermatologists recommend anointing the skin with one of the ointments: Bepanten, Aktovegin, Videstim.

To disinfect the skin, antiseptic ointments are used: Furacilin, Erythromycin, Levosin. In more complicated cases, Gorm ointment is prescribed.

Important: Medications must be prescribed by specialists! This is especially true for hormonal ointments, which can have side effects.

Preventive measures to prevent gold allergies

Any problem is easier to prevent than to solve. You shouldn't give up on gold jewelry at all. You just need to pay attention to the quality of gold when you buy it and avoid fakes. It is recommended to buy gold in official jewelry stores, for example, in "Sunlight" or "Sokolov. It is also better to give preference - the highest assay.

This is especially true of those pieces of jewelry that are worn all the time: wedding rings, earrings, crosses.

Earrings from 750 gold will be of higher quality than the 375th standard. The number 375 indicates that the so-called gold jewelry contains only 37.5% of the precious metal. Can this piece of jewelry be considered gold? No wonder that after wearing it, it will not be long before you have an allergic reaction.

750 gold earrings
Gold earring with 750-proof stones

Alternative methods of traditional medicine

You can fight gold allergies with the help of alternative medicine. There are known folk methods:

  • alcoholic tinctures of chamomile, calendula, and peony;
  • decoctions of the same plants;
  • Freshly squeezed potato, apple, and cucumber juices.

Tinctures are used to wipe the affected areas. Compresses are made with the juice and kept for 15-20 minutes. These remedies reduce itching, relieve redness, and have a healing effect on wounds.

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Scientifically unproven hypotheses of the gold allergy origin

There are unscientific opinions as to whether or not there is an allergy to gold.

  1. The psychosomatic point of view. Psychosomatics believe that all illnesses are in a person's head. If allergic reactions appear on the skin after wearing gold, the person probably does not want to wear it. Perhaps he feels guilty about the expensive purchase.
  2. The esoteric version. Esotericists say that gold is not suitable for everyone. Gold jewelry can be lost or stolen. Another sign that gold is just a stranger to its owner is the appearance of allergies.

It is impossible to answer one hundred percent whether these versions are true or not, because they are not scientifically confirmed.

align a gold ring
Gold Ring

Subject: Q&A

I wore earrings for many years without taking them off. I started to get irritation on my earlobe. From what?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Perhaps the body's immune system has malfunctioned. Such an allergy to gold earrings occurs, for example, in children, pregnant women, women weakened by diseases. It may manifest itself externally, through skin rashes. Irritation can be the result of a skin disease.

I saw nickel in a ring I bought in a well-known salon. I haven't had any allergies yet. But I have become afraid. What can I do?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
By the way, you can often hear that it is white gold that you are allergic to. White gold became white because of the presence of nickel in it. If nickel is present in gold jewelry in a small amount, then you should not be afraid. In addition, not all people are prone to allergies. You can stop worrying by strengthening your nerves with preparations containing rhodium and magnesium.
Nickel in gold jewelry
Gold Jewelry

How to know whether or not a piece of jewelry will cause allergies before buying it in the salon

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
To do this, you need to know the composition of the gold product. Gold may contain allergens. You should consult an allergist about them.

The dermatologist said that I was allergic to a gold chain. Am I not allowed to wear gold at all now?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
You can't be allergic to gold. Most likely, you took a shower without taking off the bath, and the detergent gel caused irritation. You should also pay attention to what elements are present in the gold chain.

Video: how to find out if you are allergic to gold jewelry

Dermatologist's opinion

Ivan Alekseevich Ryabtsev
Ivan Alekseevich Ryabtsev
Dermatologist, Second Opinion Clinic Yekaterinburg
Ask a question
Hypersensitivity to gold can occur in people with contact allergic dermatitis. Gold contact with the skin may exacerbate the disease. As seen in practice, such allergies occur more often in women, as they are lovers of gold jewelry.
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