I'm a jewelry addict, obviously, since I make copious quantities of jewelry. But I do like to buy jewelry too. I'm particularly fond of those gorgeous stretchy-type crystal bracelets that are sometimes sold in sets of 3, or individually. I have them in many colours.
Sometime last year, I noticed that my wrists were getting really itchy, which I chalked up to dry skin. Around the same time, I noticed that I could no longer wear earrings for more than an hour w/o both ears becoming unbearably itchy, red and swollen. The last time I wore earrings was my first day in Victoria last summer, because I couldn't take the discomfort. I stopped wearing a watch and bracelets too.
Since last summer, all I've worn are necklaces. My beautiful earrings and bracelets have been collecting dust for 7 months.
On Saturday at the antique show, I bought a cobalt blue crystal, double-strand, stretch bracelet. I had to have it. I love cobalt blue. It's so sparkly and pretty!! Today, I put the bracelet on before I left work at 6:30. By 8:00, I had to take it off. What's left in it's place is a huge rash on the top part of my wrist, below my thumb, and all down the underside of my arm, about halfway to my elbow. I've slathered lotion and hydrocortisone on my arm and it's still very red with itchy welts.
It's official. I'm allergic to metal, and it's probably nickle. Even though my earwires are all "hypoallergenic" surgical steel, I found out that surgical steel contains nickle. I've always had a problem with studs, which is why I am unable to wear them. I have to wear hooks to allow the earhole to breathe. I've bought some sterling silver earwires and hopefully, if I change out the earwires on all my earrings, I'll be able to wear them again. I feel nekkid w/o my jewelry!!! Brian thinks maybe my system is overloaded on nickle from the years and years of dripping myself with jewelry every day, so I can't even wear bracelets or earrings for any amount of time. The only reason I get away w/ the necklaces is that the only metal part near my skin is the clasp....the rest of the necklaces are all beads.
But how cruel is this? An allergy to metal making it impossible for me, The Jewelry Whore, to wear jewelry? It's so very unfair.