Allergic to Nickel? Eat a Nickel Free Diet.

People who are severely allergic to nickel, as from earrings or belt buckles, can actually develop a rash from eating foods high in nickel.

In particular, chronic hand dermatitis has been associated with eating foods high in nickel in patients with a known allergy. If you are allergic to nickel and have a chronic rash, especially of your hands, then consider a nickel-free diet. Try to avoid:


  • Chocolate
  • Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Nuts and Legumes (beans, lentils)
  • Any canned food or canned fruit
  • Hot water from the tap
  • Anything acidic (like tomatoes) cooked in a stainless steel pan
  • Leafy green vegetables

150 thoughts on “Allergic to Nickel? Eat a Nickel Free Diet.

  1. I have most of these symptoms and have had multiple food allergies and candida in the gut. I have got rid of the candida but then the symptoms of nickel allergy became worse. I’m being tested next week for nickel allergy and other heavy metal allergies, but I’m somewhat in despair as I had been eating a very healthy diet. It turns out that most of the foods I was eating were very high in nickel, despite the fact that they were very healthy foods.

    I’ve also read about people being treated with nickel sulphate to treat the allergy and desensitize the body. Does anyone know whether the problem is the allergic reaction to the nickel? Or is it nickel toxicity? I think they are different issues, but any information would be very helpful!

    • I have the same issue! I had bad candidiasis and it took me years to figure out the problem. Now, I have treated myself for that and feel much better, but now I have a horrible nickel allergy. It seems to me this nickel allergy became worse during that period. I am also going in for a patch text this month. I have also read about the nickel sulphate, but I need to research it more. I was tested for heavy metals and came back in normal range, but I’m not sure if nickel would be considered a heavy metal. I quit eating many nickel-rich foods and that helps. I was sad to let go of my favorite veggies…like tomatoes and spinach, but my hand excema is much better without them. I’m still new to this nickel allergy idea, as a dermatologists told me about the possibility last year.

    • Use Ivory Bar Soap, its the best for nickel free, also use Cetaphil lotions and creams. I’m still looking for a nickel free shampoo, any one having any luck finding nickel free shampoo?

  2. Hi, I’ve had a Nickel allergy for many years, especially in jewllery and buckles on belts, I developed a skin condition called Keratosis Polaris, I’m told that my pores are blocked were my hair can’t come through and my arms get very red and blotchy with pimples on, it looks really horrible and I’m very conscious of it, but when I have a shower or a bath, I come out very red, and if my body gets hot (which it does quite often)the same thing happens,the doctors just gave me cream to put on, doesn’t help one bit, after reading your stories I’m begining to wonder if this skin problem is also to do with Nickel? if any one out there can give me a few tips on how to make this better, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

  3. I found that taking vitamin C helps to absorb the nickel, but would probaby be best to detox first. Since taking vitamin C at every meal, my reactions have been less. I also discovered that not all dermatoligists know about nickel in food. I called the one I had seen several years ago and was told point blank “nickel in metal not food.” Anyone having issue with liver enzyme being high? Wondering if there is a relationship between the 2.

  4. For itchy skin and not using prescribed meds, use Aveeno 1% Hydrocortosone cream. For itchy scalp, use Scalpicine. Use these along with taking Vitamin C.

    • Thanks Diane! Will do…currently suffering with massive hives due to high nickel hair dye. I’m writing those products down.

      • Hi I had reactions to my hair dye also but my stylist now puts a packet of sweet n low in the hair dye mix and so far no reaction. I am very allergic to nickel, stainless steel and titanium and am dreading my knee replacement

        • Beverly, since you’re “dreading” your knee replacement, I recommend you discuss this matter with your doctor. Let him or her know your concerns and see what they have to say. All the best to you.

      • Dear Diane:
        The nickel-free hair dye to use is called “Sanotint”. You will have to Google it or call salons to see if they use it first. Luckily , my supplier was only one city away from where I lived. They cost me about $18 each.
        I have used the Cetaphil lotion and that works for dry skin or after shaving legs. It is hard to find razors that one won’t react to either. :(
        In my case, I suffer my hives everyday, due to everything nickel…food,clothing,buckles and jewelry, washer and dryer drums, razors etc. Because medicine is so expensive, I buy the no name brand of antihistamine in USA when we cross the border shopping. I stock up good. :)
        Hope this helps.

  5. hi, i have just found out i have a nickel allergy. i am having a hard time finding a list of root vegetables that are high in nickel. this is one of the foods i was told to avoid. can someone help me with this. thanks

  6. Does anyone have a nickel free diet that is also diabetes friendly…it seems that most of the foods that are good to control your blood sugar are also those high nickel foods…I am really having a problem trying to find a balance of foods that will work for both…thanks

    • Pam – thank you so much for posting this document. How did you decide to eat anything under .099? How long have you been on this diet and have you seen any improvement?

      My son and I are both allergic to nickel and I have only just discovered how prevalent it is in food. Any other guidance is very much appreciated! Thank you!

      • I stay away from most green vegetables and all beans including peas and all nuts. Also, stay away from chocolate especially dark kind, oatmeal, coconut, pineapple, raspberry (incl. jam and pies), red wine, any grains or seed breads (white only), processed deli meats, canned foods. Hope this helps. Roo

    • Im reading this document… and obviously you didnt produce it so nto having a go at you… but i am a bit confused.

      looking at the LOD for Line 12 “Cheese, Cheddar, natural (Sharp/Mild) is 0.03. Yet there are 12 No Detects from 12 Analyses. How can that be possible. Surely the LOD should aslo be 0.

      Have I missed something? It seemed liek a great document to help my girlfiend through her newly identified Nickel Allergy, but not much good if the figures dont make sense.

      Thansk for your help!

    • Pam,
      If you are eating only what is 0.099 or lower, then I have a math question relating to this guide. The food items that have just a whole 0 in the median column, means that it is a high food in nickel and not to eat it. Correct? Just making sure I understand the table properly. :)

  7. Also, I have started supplementing with iron (solgar gentle iron) and cooking in cast iron. My rash from when I eat nickel foods is greatly reduced. Right after I have a period, my rash is the worst. I know you lose iron while menstrating. Has anyone else seen a correlation between iron and nickel? I read somewhere that if you’re low on iron, the nickel substitutes in and that makes you more sensitive.

    • I have been taking solgar iron for a while now and it really has helped. I can eat a little of nickel foods and not get my rash that used to appear within an hour of eating any food high in nickel. Then my new healthcare provider told me to not take the iron any more. Within a week, my rash was back- painful and itchy both. I am back on my iron and again don’t have to be quite so careful. I do limit nickel foods, but can have some without reacting.

      • I do get my iron level checked every six months though as too high levels of iron can be a problem too. Right now, I’m right in the middle of the acceptable range.

        • Me again. I changed to a different brand of iron and was covered head to toe in rash. After 3 days back on Solgar gentle iron the rash was gone again. I can have small amounts of nickel foods without a reaction as long as I am taking iron, so for me the iron blocks the nickel. I am also using the Ester-C.

      • i thought it was my imagination but when i take iron and zinc supplements my hand rash is slow occurring. just now starting a low nickel diet

  8. My husband was recently confirmed as having severe nickel sensitivity after having a heart stent implanted 2 years ago that is made of nickel among other things. He is also highly sensitive to Balsam of Peru (spices and flavorings), plants in the daisy family (which has something to do with being sensitive to uva and uvb rays), and to several chemicals including those used to make the polymer coating on the heart stent. We have gotten rid of stainless steel food utensils and pans, stopped all canned foods and foods on the low nickel diet, and he is now using only body care products and detergents, and an SPF 65 Sun Screen on the “Safe List”. There is not much noticable improvement if any. The diet probably wipes out 80% or more of edible foods which means he is existing on the other 10-20%, which we have just found out are more or less all high potassium foods. So now his potassium level is in the high range which is bad for the heart. I would like to know if there is a dietitian that would have any clue on how to make a safe and sustainable diet given all these allergies, specifically the nickel? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks Paula

  9. Please forward me a copy of the diet.Suffering badly specially my face neck n head.Thanks in advance.

  10. Actually ..those with rashes on their hands face etc..look into “sulfate” and sulfite allergies. I stopped using shampoos and soaps with sulfates and the rash went away..but know Im dealing with metal allergies.

  11. Try eating poppy seeds which extract nickel out of the body more than they add. 2 teaspoons every day for a couple of weeks do the trick and get rid of any nickel allergy rashes for me. Get poppy seeds in most natural remedy/herbal shops.

  12. Have a severe systemic nickel allergy mainly with tap water. Using distilled water to shampoo & bathe. Desperately need some way to filter nickel out of shower water. The activated charcoal or reverse osmosis can only be used with cool or cold water. Need help with this…. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Sanotint – It is available for shipping from a NY salon and can be bought in Burlington, Ontario salon or ordered online from there as well.

      I was also recommended to use Aveeno, Ivory and Cetaphil products for Health and Beauty.

      For nickel-free jewelry – www.

      For nickel testing kits – or

      Hope this helps others…

  13. i got nickel bad so for the last 8 months try to sort out the nickel free foods but it hard but i feel better for not eating them but having problem low potassium because of not eating nickel foods

    • I have read that we need about 4000 mg of Potassium a day. A banana is 400. I add Now Foods, Potassium Gluconate, 100% Pure Powder to a glass of water. A teaspoon is 540 mg. I read somewhere that if it tastes salty you don’t need it. Some days I can’t taste it at all and other days it tastes very salty, so that seems to work. Also, the salt substitute nu-salt is potassium.

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