9 Everyday Reasons To Itch

While it is rarer than a nickel allergy, the presence of aluminum can cause a reaction, as can some of the other chemicals in various deodorants.

"In general, there are always alternatives," said Bassett, noting that deodorants containing aluminum can be replaced with powders such as baby powder or cornstarch or deodorant products with rock salt.

"Of course, it's not as pleasant," he said.

While some may opt for hypoallergenic or all-natural products, those might not be the best idea.

"It doesn't mean that it's a good product or that it's the right product for an individual."

Bassett and Anderson agreed that "all-natural" doesn't mean a product won't cause a reaction.

"Just because it's natural doesn't mean you can't have an allergy to it," said Anderson, noting that aloe, lavender and peppermint, found in many all-natural products, are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.

"They're natural ingredients, but you can still be allergic to them, just like poison ivy," said Anderson.

Laundry Detergent Allergies

For patients who complain of problems with laundry detergent, Bassett said that he encourages them to use "allergy-friendly type products," which means that they contain less colorants and fragrances.

"We basically ask most of our patients to reduce exposures," he said, noting that this often means discouraging fabric softeners and other products that would go on the clothing.

Anderson notes that laundry detergent allergies are less common than other contact allergies.

"The reason for that is they're wash-off products," he said. "There's very little laundry detergent left on the clothing."

He noted that soaps and shampoos are less likely to cause reactions than moisturizers and nail polishes because they are not kept on the body for long periods of time.

"If you're going to have a problem with a laundry detergent, it's typically going to be the fragrance," said Anderson, although he called that "fairly rare."

Cell Phones

People with nickel allergies can often find that they are allergic to their cell phones.

"Cell phones have been linked to nickel as well," said Jacob, noting that nickel can be found "in the metallic facing of cell phones."

Anderson noted that this is an increasing problem because of the prevalence of nickel allergies.

"Nickel, in and of itself, is the most common allergen we encounter in a dermatology clinic," he said, noting that nickel content in cell phones is not regulated and patients can come in with rashes on their cheeks, faces and ears where their faces come in contact with their phones.

He estimates that nickel allergies make up 5 percent of general dermatology practices, and about 15 percent of his own.

Classroom Chairs

If your children have unexplained rashes on the backs of their legs or on their lower backs, the seats they are constantly told to sit in may be the source of the problem.

"You can get nickel exposure from the studs in the chairs," said Jacob.

And chairs may not be the only classroom problem for children.

Jacob noted in a separate interview with ABCNews.com in October that flutes can also be a problem.

Because nickel is so ubiquitous, it becomes important to find if children have an allergy to it.

"Nickel is in just about everything we interact with," Jacob said.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...