Nickel dermatitis from cheap earrings

B. Santucci, P. V. Ferrari, A. Cristaudo, C. Cannistraci, M. Picardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1988, 64% of our patients patch test positive to at least 1 allergen of the ICDRG standard series were nickel sensitive. In 70% of 300 patients evaluated, dermatitis started on the earlobes and was related to the regular wearing of cheap earrings. At the same time, 62% of 735 young schoolgirls were found to have dermatitis of their earlobes and all regularly wore cheap earrings. 9 clasps and clips commonly used in earrings released high quantities of nickel ions (between 49 and 103 μg/12 h), having been stored in synthetic sweat. A round piece cut from a clasp was taped to the skin of 30 nickel-sensitive patients, previously tested with 20 μl of NiSO4 5%, 2.5%, 1% aq. solutions, giving a response similar to that caused by the 5% solution. High daily absorption of Ni ions through the skin follows its repetitive exposure to cheap earrings, causing, firstly, a direct inflammatory reaction, then followed, in our opinions, by sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-248
Number of pages4
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Toxicology


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