Titanium allergy is not to be taken lightly, but not too hard either
Titanium allergy is so rare that is barely recognized as such within mainstream medical practice. Indeed, it has been reported, but the conditions and symptoms were so diverse and bewildering, that it hasn’t been possible so far for practitioners to pin-point a special symptom category.
This is a common occurrence in cases where reports are inconsistent and/or incoherent and there are usually more medical problems attached to the respective patient than a mere allergy.
However, the most common occurrence of titanium allergy is definitely related to titanium body jewelry. Titanium is indeed an inert metal and is indeed virtually allergy free. This is what made it the biggest alternative for stainless steel piercings, which contain nickel. Nickel allergy is far more widespread, at about 10% of the population, than titanium allergy.
The more popular a product is, the greater the chance of finding a consumer that is allergic to it. The reports of titanium allergy coming from a recent piercing contain symptoms such as skin rashes, swelling, itchiness, skin redness and hives. In most of the cases, these are just the normal responses of the body adjusting to a foreign object. The type and gravity of these symptoms vary with the sensitivity of each individual and the location of the piercings.
If you’re worried about a possible titanium allergy case due to a recent titanium body piercing, allow a couple of days before rushing to the hospital. Assuming that you had your piercing done professionally with the hygiene conditions assured responsibly, there is no reason to fret. Chances are the problem will take care of itself.
The real symptom for a rare titanium sensitivity is the chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a medical term given to several disorders. It is commonly defined by persistent fatigue unrelated to physical or mental exertion, which doesn’t alleviate by rest and is extended for a period longer than six months.
If you experience this kind of symptom, and you have been in contact with titanium metal, in the form of a piercing or a titanium implant, then it is the case indeed that you should consult a physician.
Titanium implants, especially for bone reconstruction in the forms of titanium plates or titanium screws are very popular. There are also problems with these implants, but are rarely directly related to titanium allergies. Usually, the principal medical problems come from different stress forces applied in the titanium implant and the adjacent bone, which lead to the failure of the joint. But this is a known and well documented medical issue, and it is thoroughly checked by physicians in every case.
There is only one test that can be used to establish titanium allergy, called the MELISA® test. This is a blood in vitro test used for the diagnosis of delayed hypersensitivity to metals. The technology is called “in vitro lymphocyte transformation” and has been utilized for some years to assist in the diagnosis of delayed type sensitivity to metals.
In the professional literature, the studies seem to validate the accuracy of this type of test, but more in determining exposure to metals, including titanium, and not necessarily in determining a delayed hypersensitivity that produces allergy.
There is also an intense ongoing debate about the interaction of titanium dioxide in the form of nano sized particles with the human body, as the nanotechnology is developing. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are often used in products that have the potential of presenting allergy risks to human, such as titanium sunscreen, food stuff and paint. Although there were some scientific studies regarding the potential damage to living tissue caused by titanium dioxide nano particles, no final decision has been established yet.
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