The metal, nickel, can cause inflammation (erythema), rash, and itching. Nickel dermatitis is relatively common, and can be seen on the wrist from the stainless backs of watches, on the earlobes from nickel plated earrings, or elsewhere on the body from snaps. This person was in contact with something made of nickel or containing nickel salts.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.