am told that Gold is the 4th leading metal allergy. I developed
my allergy to gold through 18 years of working at the bench
as a Goldsmith/Diamondsetter. It was not until approximately
1996, that symptoms started to appear on the skin of my fingers.
I believe (and there is medical
evidence to back this up) that it was aggrivated, or triggered
by the installation of a gold crown in my mouth. Not until
this crown was there for a period of months, did I have any
signs of contact dermititis on my fingers. I can still wear
gold, but the filings that are sharp (see exploded view) cut
through the protective layer of my skin, then react causing
itching and dry blisters, until peeling occurs. The mucosa in
the mouth has no natural barrier to the gold, and metals
absorb more readily through this tissue. The acids in saliva also
aid the breakdown of the metal, and promote absorption.
have since had the gold crown replaced with a Palladium/Silver
alloy. I am told that I will never be desensitized, and therefore
I cannot work at the bench building jewelry. I restrict my
contact with the filings and wear latex gloves when the probability
of contact is high. Latex gloves help, but the filings
still are sharp enough to cut through the glove, and the
gloves only reduce the exposure. I can still wear
gold jewelry, I just can't work on it.
was what led to the decision of working in jewelry sales,
vs. custom work at the bench. I am also focusing on web site
development. Please feel free to contact
me if you have any questions or concerns that relate
to this condition.
am not a Doctor! The
information written here is from my own experience and research.
There is not a lot written about this type of allergy out
there. I will accept no responsibility for the accuracy of
this information. Frankly, my livelyhood was severely affected
by this condition, and there wouldn't be much point in holding
me accountable for misinformation. My hope is that I can
help to alert anyone in my profession, and keep them from
going through the same thing. If you
are a bench jeweler, get porcelan dental work, and avoid
gold alloys installed in your mouth. If you are not affected
now, you could be in a few years time.
Allergy in Japan
Manifestations to Gold Allergy
Platinum, Rhodium, Gold Alloys and Allergies
Gold Allergy Resources