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Itchy red patches in neck when submerged in water.

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Hi I had my nipples pierced 4 months ago. They healed fine from what I can say. No redness or pus forming at any point.

Since last month though in some cases when I do the ordinary sea salt soak to them to keep them clean I get some itchy red patches around my neck that go away after 15-20 min. This happens in some cases when they are submerged in water (also some times in the shower) but not most of the time.

The rash does not have bumps or anything, just skin redness in patches of about 5cm2 that go away after 20 minutes. I have no fever or headache or any other symptoms other than the itchy patches.

I should mention the jewelry is steel and contains nickel. I am thinking of switching to titanium jewelry in case this is some form of allergy.

Is this something serious? Should I retire the piercings? Thank you very much.


Category: Dermatologist

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 25 Doctors Online


Thanks for posting your query at

I can understand your concern.

You seem to be having urticaria. Its also called hives. It can happen due to allergy to food, medications, jewellery., dust, pollen etc.

It would be best to treat it with oral anti allergic tablets like tab. Allegra 180 mg once a day for a week and see if it helps. You can apply calamine lotion to soothe the area.

It can happen due to jewellery but that would be at the area of the contact of the jewellery.

Please let me know if you have any queries.

Take care

Patient replied :

Hello Dr Banodkar,
Thank you for your reply! I will follow your advice and take the antihistamine tablets for a week.
I will also replace the steel jewelry to titanium made as soon as possible. The only thing I want to mention is that most of the redness appears on my neckline/colarbone after I do the salt soaks on the piercings. The actual piercings seem ok to mee. These red itchy patches usually 2 x 5cm2 disappear after a few minutes.
I do not get these every time I do the soaks, I would say in about 20% of the time.
Many thanks, Nick


Thanks for your reply.

This is characteristic of urticaria. I would recommend even stopping the salt soaks for four to five days to see if that helps.

Take care

Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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