To the Editor.—
The clinical note of Johnson et al (227:1165, 1974) emphasizes the danger of a viral infection with the production of hepatitis. Staphylococcus infections are also not unusual. Another lesser-known hazard is the production of allergic contact sensitivity to nickel and gold.In the past year, I have studied six women and one man who became sensitized to nickel from having their ears pierced and nickel-plated or nickel-gold alloy earrings inserted. One other patient became sensitized to gold from the procedure.Gaul (200:176, 1967) reported that:[The ear piercing] fashion has inadvertently produced an outbreak of earlobe dermatitis... [An] unknown number of subjects will develop a generalized nickel sensitivity... [that] will persist indefinitely [by having their ears pierced and then wearing nickel-containing jewelry.]There is no doubt that injury to the skin from mechanical, physical, or chemical agents followed by intimate contact with sensitizing allergens favors the development
Fisher AA. Ear Piercing Hazard of Nickel-Gold Sensitization. JAMA. 1974;228(10):1226. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350016004
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