• Reviewed on 6/12
    By Dr. Barker



    • Lisa Barker, MD
      Beryllium Program Lead
      Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
       


Metal and Cement Allergies


Metal and cement allergies can occur from exposure to:

  • Earrings and other jewelry; belt buckles; metal watch bands
  • Metals used in artificial joint replacements (nickel, cobalt, chromium, iron, molybdenum, aluminum, vanadium, zirconium, niobium and titanium are the most common metals)
  • Cardiac and dental hardware (stents and patches; dental crowns)
  • Metal implants from spine or disk surgery
  • Cement used to make artificial fingernails or bone cement for joint prosthesis

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of metal and cement allergies may vary and can include skin swelling and nail splitting from the cement used to make artificial fingernails; chronic pain and swelling from joint replacements after infection is ruled out; itchy, red, raised rashes from metal jewelry; and pain, swelling, or itching from implanted hardware.

 

Diagnosis

Individualized allergy diagnostics specific to metals and cements can be used to diagnose a cement or metal allergy. Allergy patch testing may be performed during 3 separate visits over a period of 4-5 days.

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