Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gold Allergies

Some people think they have a gold allergy. There is no documented case of any gold allergies with pure gold so it is likely, if anyone has an apparent gold allergy, that it is not the gold but one or more of the other metals alloyed or 'mixed' with the gold that is causing the problem.

Any gold under 24 karat has been alloyed with other metals. 14 karat gold, for example, is about 55 percent gold and 45 percent other metals.

The most common metal in alloyed gold would be silver, platinum, palladium, copper and zinc. These metals help the gold to be more durable as gold in its pure form is very soft and malleable.

Where a person complains of a reaction to wearing gold jewelery it is likely one of the other metals to which the person may have an allergy. This can be established as by having the person change to a higher karat value of gold which contains less other metal and, to which the remaining other metals are more tightly bound to the gold, noticing the allergy disappear or reduce.

Nickel is commonly used in white gold and some people have a reaction to nickel also. Nickel is used in white gold as it assists to give that 'white' effect so prized in white gold.

As well as nickel and other metals, there are other often overlooked reasons for a reaction to gold. Many people wash their gold or gold jewelery in detergent and soaps. If these are not thoroughly rinsed out well afterwards they can lodge in crevasses between the gold and the skin and even cause a reaction on the skin as well. Perhaps this is why 'cheap gold' such as the 9 karat, is so deplored. There is little gold and mostly other cheaper metal used in 9 karat gold and more chance of an allergic reaction.

Allergies are more likely cause by such things as not cleaning the jewelery adequately enough,. Getting oils and anti-perspirants on the ring and with the amount of chemicals contained within some of these preparations it is not surprising that reactions can occur.

One can reduce the likelihood of reactions by ensuring that one wears good quality gold and gold jewelery and maintains it well washing it regularly and keeping it in a clean sparkling condition. This will go a long way to reducing 'gold allergies'.