08-29-2012, 06:32 AM
#1
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I've suffered from a nickel allergy for about 5 years now, giving me rashes if I am in contact with it for too long. I've come to realize that many safety razors, especially vintage, have a great amount of nickel in them. I cannot help but wonder if this is what gives me so much trouble on my neck. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

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 08-29-2012, 09:33 AM
#2
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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I don't have a nickel allergy thankfully but I have read about it in a few places.

I wonder why it would be localized to your neck if that's what is happening. Maybe if the angle is different on your neck, you'd have more contact with the razor head but otherwise, I have no clue.
That leads to wonder if the angle on your neck is correct....

There are many chrome over brass alternatives and gold plated, silver plated and pure stainless steel alternatives. While some may have nickel content, they probably don't equate to something completely plated in nickel.

Have you tried a blade sampler? Different blades with different coatings may produce different results.

I had so much trouble on my neck until I mapped, re-mapped and did it again. I make sure I have an Ultra-Lather, (search here for that term)as well as an intense prep and post shave routine and I use unrefined shea butter as a balm to soothe at the end. After months of practice and refinement of the routine, my neck is fine.

Lastly, if you have razor bumps, maybe try a treatment product(s) such as something with salicylic acid and/or glycolic acid may help. Add mechanical exfoliation in the form of a scrub wash as a pre-shave to the above mentioned routine and the bumps may be banished without having to change any hardware.

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 08-29-2012, 10:17 AM
#3
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(08-29-2012, 09:33 AM)EHV Wrote: I don't have a nickel allergy thankfully but I have read about it in a few places.

I wonder why it would be localized to your neck if that's what is happening. Maybe if the angle is different on your neck, you'd have more contact with the razor head but otherwise, I have no clue.
That leads to wonder if the angle on your neck is correct....

There are many chrome over brass alternatives and gold plated, silver plated and pure stainless steel alternatives. While some may have nickel content, they probably don't equate to something completely plated in nickel.

Have you tried a blade sampler? Different blades with different coatings may produce different results.

I had so much trouble on my neck until I mapped, re-mapped and did it again. I make sure I have an Ultra-Lather, (search here for that term)as well as an intense prep and post shave routine and I use unrefined shea butter as a balm to soothe at the end. After months of practice and refinement of the routine, my neck is fine.

Lastly, if you have razor bumps, maybe try a treatment product(s) such as something with salicylic acid and/or glycolic acid may help. Add mechanical exfoliation in the form of a scrub wash as a pre-shave to the above mentioned routine and the bumps may be banished without having to change any hardware.

+1 This is some very good advice. i had never heard of nickel allergy and i wish you luck.

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 08-29-2012, 10:38 AM
#4
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Great advice, EHV. I agree with your doubts that these symptoms reflect a nickel allergy.

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 08-29-2012, 10:39 AM
#5
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(08-29-2012, 06:32 AM)Grant_Atwood Wrote: I've suffered from a nickel allergy for about 5 years now, giving me rashes if I am in contact with it for too long. I've come to realize that many safety razors, especially vintage, have a great amount of nickel in them. I cannot help but wonder if this is what gives me so much trouble on my neck. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

No, but please send all your nickels to me. I hate to see my fellow hobbyist suffer!

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 08-29-2012, 12:41 PM
#6
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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The neck area is very thin and easy to get irritated. Were you ever tested for allergies and was nickel included or are you assuming your allergic to it?

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 08-29-2012, 12:44 PM
#7
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I was never officially tested, but my dermatologist told me I was after getting a rash where my belt buckle would lie. Switching to a nickel free belt solved the problem. It's safe to say that I don't have a solid routine down yet, but even shaving only with the grain on my neck seems to have the same results.

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 08-29-2012, 01:01 PM
#8
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Nickel hypersensitivity is one of the most common contact allergies. Unfortunately there is no way to desensitize you or cure the allergy, and the more nickel contact you have, the worse it gets over time generally, although it can fluctuate (with periods of apparent remission and lack of reaction). Stainless steel varies quite a bit in the amount of nickel it contains, usually from 1% to 10%. Less common is a reaction to the chromium in the stainless steel. Skin testing by an allergist can differentiate between the two.

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 08-29-2012, 07:51 PM
#9
  • Notary
  • Member
  • Montreal, Quebec
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Although I do not have any specific allergies, my rosacea has made my skin hypersensitive to alcohol. Gone are the days when I used to douse my face with after-shave; I miss that clean, crisp and rejuvenating burn that follows the splash. As such I truly understand your dilemma as a wet-shaver; it is difficult to avoid nickel seeing as how blades and razors are to some degree or other nickel based, just like most shaving products contain alcohol. I would suggest trying a variety of blades, trial and error will work best for you. Eventually, you will find the products that will allow you a clean, comfortable and reaction-free shave. Good luck and Happy Shaving Sam.

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 11-22-2016, 01:08 AM
#10
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(08-29-2012, 06:32 AM)Grant_Atwood Wrote: I've suffered from a nickel allergy for about 5 years now, giving me rashes if I am in contact with it for too long. I've come to realize that many safety razors, especially vintage, have a great amount of nickel in them. I cannot help but wonder if this is what gives me so much trouble on my neck. Does anyone else have any experience with this?

I've had a nickel allergy for many years. Got it from my ear piercing and a poor metal used with the stud. It seems that the neck is more sensitive than the face, just as hands it might take days for a reaction where as a belt can make a rash in a day. The chrome seems to be the biggest culprit when it comes to razors. Basicly the alternatives for guys like us are surgical grade stainless steel (still has a small amount of nickel, but doesn't seem to have enough to cause problems), Aluminum, or plastic razors.  Standard makes lice looking aluminum razors, but I haven't tried them yet. I've found a few plastic ones like the gillette super click (nice close shave and only cost me 1$)  and one from Japan the was a two piece razor that was absolutely the most passive razor I've known. Don't recall the brand name, but it was bought at Daiso. Let me know what you find as my search for the best shave is still on going.

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 11-22-2016, 08:01 AM
#11
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I bought a black diamond earring that was made from nickel as well. My ear got all infected from it very quickly.

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 11-22-2016, 12:00 PM
#12
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Gold or Rhodium plating could help you if you have a problem with your vintages.

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