What is a Gold Allergy?
A White gold allergy is a hypersensitivity to the heavy metal element of gold. Some people cannot wear jewelry made of gold because it increases the chance of reactions caused by contact with the metal. Gold allergies can also be difficult for dentists who need to use metal instruments or fillings in your mouth.
Gold allergies are different than a rust allergies. A gold allergy is caused by the metal itself, while a rust allergy occurs because of exposure to irritants that cause metal corrosion. In most cases, people with a gold allergy know what metal products they react to.
Symptoms of White Gold Allergy
1. Prickly Skin Sensitivity
Some people have a strong urge to scratch their skin when they have a white gold allergy. The area where earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are worn may become reddened, swollen, or sore.
2. Earring Sensitivity
A white gold allergy may cause an itching sensation in the earlobe or pain when wearing typical body jewelry like earrings and ear wires. In some cases, people with a white gold allergy may notice that tiny fibers of gold are sticking to the skin around their ears.
3. Bronchial Asthma
People with a white gold allergy may experience asthma-like tightening of the bronchial tubes, which can become severe enough to require hospitalization.
4. Sensitivity to Other Metals
White gold allergies can also cause a rash or other symptoms caused by exposure to other metals such as silver and platinum. Gold is often used as a catalyst in dye manufacturing processes.
5. Mouth Sensitivity
Some people are more sensitive to metals because they have a metal allergy or a metal sensitivity. In these cases, gold may trigger a reaction inside the mouth, leading to pain, swelling, and sores.
6. Cheek Swelling
Cheek swelling can occur in people with a white gold allergy, according to some sources, but this is not very common and is different than a reaction people often have to seafood or shellfish.
Causes of White Gold Allergy
1. Food Allergy
People with a food allergy may also be allergic to gold. People who are allergic to food can experience symptoms such as rash, hives, and swelling after exposure to the allergen. However, allergic reactions to metals are not as expected. People who have a possible metal allergy can often get tested to find out if they actually have an allergy or if it is just a reaction that occurs because of exposure or contact with the metal.
2. Industrial Allergy
Sensitivities to industrial chemicals and metals like gold can lead to allergic reactions. Some people are sensitive because of a physical response when the metal comes in contact with the skin. It makes some people more likely to experience allergic symptoms, which is different from other types of sensitivities that occur when chemicals in the air or workplace are inhaled.
3. Metal Sensitivity
Some metals are considered reactive metals because they form strong chemical bonds with substances they come into contact with. Metal sensitivity is caused by exposure to these metals, including gold.
Some women experience changes in their body chemistry during pregnancy (see pregnancy dyshormonogenesis), which may cause them to develop allergies they did not have previously. For this reason, some women may discover that they are allergic to gold during pregnancy or birthing.
4. Dentist Allergy
Some people with a metal allergy may have an adverse reaction when exposed to the metal during a visit to the dentist’s office. People with a white gold allergy may need to be tested for responses to other metals such as silver or platinum before dental procedures.
5. Metal Allergy
Some people do not know if they have a metal allergy or just a reaction that occurs solely because they are exposed to the metal. Some people develop this type of allergy when they are allergic to a specific chemical, such as nickel, but do not realize it until after exposure to nickel dust at work or home.
6. Metal Overload
Some people are exposed to too much blue light, including LED light and electronic devices, which may cause symptoms such as headaches. In some cases, people with a metal allergy may experience a headache or other symptoms after exposure to the metal because their body is sensitive to certain compounds produced by exposure to the metal.
Treatment of White Gold Allergy
1. People with a food allergy to gold may experience relief from their symptoms by avoiding the allergen, such as when they avoid food made with gold. Some people who cannot prevent an allergen may be able to manage their symptoms through the use of over-the-counter antihistamines and steroids while they wait for their allergies to go away.
2. People with a metal allergy to gold may be able to manage their symptoms through avoidance of the metal. They might have to avoid contact with the metal at home and in their workspace, limiting their ability to work efficiently and professionally.
3. People allergic to gold may have a severe reaction that affects their breathing or causes pain that lasts too long for them to carry out routine daily tasks. If they cannot avoid their allergy, they might seek treatment through various medical options, such as allergy shots or antihistamines.
4. People with a severe reaction may require medical treatment. If there is no improvement after treating their symptoms with medications or other measures, they must seek medical help because of the potential for life-threatening complications.
5. People with a metal allergy that occurs because of exposure to the metal may have a different reaction, such as skin and eye irritation. In some cases, medical treatment is not needed because it can be managed through avoidance or over-the-counter medication.
6. People with a metal allergy that occurs because of contact with the metal may be able to self-treat with over-the-counter medications or home remedies such as natural treatments.
7. People with a metal allergy that occurs because of contact with the metal may be able to manage their symptoms through avoidance, including avoiding work at all costs.
8. People with a metal allergy that occurs because of contact with the metal may also have other types of allergies, such as others caused by chemicals or air pollution. Suppose they are also allergic to other metals or chemicals. In that case, they might want to consult their physician about options for preventing further reactions or treatments for people who do not respond well to over-the-counter medications or home remedies.
Many people with a white gold allergy may start to feel better once they become educated about what causes their allergies and the potential ways that they can manage it through avoidance and lifestyle changes. Some people with severe reactions might have to seek professional medical treatment. In contrast, others can successfully manage their symptoms using over-the-counter or natural therapies and lifestyle changes.