When the skin comes in to direct contact with a metal allergen, for example, jewellery, watches, eyewear and coins etc the skin becomes sensitised. This direct exposure is enough to induce the immune response. The immune response is how your body recognises and defends itself against an allergen. If a metal allergen has repeated and prolonged contact with the skin, it may cause a local inflammation which is termed as Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) commonly known as 'skin allergy'.
An allergic reaction usually begins to show symptoms within a few hours after exposure to an allergen, but it can appear after a few days. Some of the common symptoms of a metal allergy include:
For Metal Induced Allergic Contact Dermatitis (MACD) to develop, the metal in the material must corrode, due to contact with perspiration, and be in direct and prolonged contact with the skin. The skin will absorb the metal ions and cross through the epidermis into the dermis area of the skin and this will then cause skin inflammation.
There are three layers of the skin; the epidermis, this is the outer layer, no thicker than a sheet of paper. The dermis, this is the thick middle layer which makes up most of the skin and hypodermis. The hypodermis is situated under the skin and is mainly fat.
MACD develops in two stages:
If the skin comes in to direct contact with a metal allergen and becomes sensitized, then this is known as the sensitization phase.
This stage is known as the elicitation phase, this happens when the skin has repeated contact with a specific allergen and then triggers a reaction causing local inflammation. Once you are sensitized to a substance, even a small amount of it can cause a reaction.
Some people will react to a very low concentration of metal allergens. Until now, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that one is allergic to but with AnchorCert Protect, this is no longer the case. AnchorCert Protect will give you the freedom to be in contact with everyday items and it will be highly unlikely that it will trigger a reaction.
M Clarke, Worcester.