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> Nickel Allergy, I'm allergic to guitar strings and frets!
ragefist
post Sep 14 2008, 07:57 PM
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A while back i posted a problem about my fingers getting really messed up from playing guitar. like not the normal wear and tear but rashes, bleeding, etc. Well it turns out I'm allergic to nickel which as you may know almost all electric guitar strings are made from. Does anyone have any suggestions for strings that have no nickel in them or strings that have some type of coating so that I wouldn't be touching the metal?

I also plan on having my guitar re-fretted with frets that have no nickel in them. (even stainless steel has a percentage of nickel in it so I have to go with a special gold colored alloy)

Any advice will be greatly appreciated! This is VERY important to me because if I can't find some solution to this problem I may have to quit playing completely!
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timono
post Sep 14 2008, 08:01 PM
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wow man that really sucks!!!

i dunno about nickel less strings, but i really do hope for you to find them, good luck

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Fran
post Sep 14 2008, 08:01 PM
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Check out elixir strings, they have a special coating. I don't know it it contains nickel though, but might be worth trying. They are awesome strings too, they don't get rusty like normal strings.

Edit: Just did some research, quote from elixir site:
"Since then we’ve refined our ideas and today provide various combinations of original POLYWEB® Coating and ultra-thin NANOWEB® Coating strings for acoustic and electric guitar, bass, mandolin, and banjo. Each produces a different tone “flavor,” but all are variations of the same basic idea: a microscopically thin, advanced polymer tube that surrounds the string to protect it from corrosion and dirt without making any contact whatsoever with the critical area between the windings where the “critical zone of tone” is found and each perfect note is born."

If it's polymer, then it's not Nickel!

This post has been edited by Fran: Sep 14 2008, 08:06 PM


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g-forcelover
post Sep 14 2008, 08:05 PM
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Elixer!


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ragefist
post Sep 14 2008, 08:27 PM
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sweet! thanks guys I have tried d'addario prosteels and chromes so far with no luck but I will try elixers.
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sigma7
post Sep 14 2008, 08:32 PM
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would steel strings work? Ernie ball makes a whole bunch of different strings, u can try them

This post has been edited by sigma7: Sep 14 2008, 08:33 PM


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skennington
post Sep 14 2008, 09:58 PM
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As said before, Elixir's will probably be your best bet. If not, don't quit playing all together. You can always jam on a nylon acoustic until you find a remedy to curve your sensitivity to nickel. smile.gif


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jacmoe
post Sep 14 2008, 11:05 PM
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It could be the frets..

Why not put it to a test?

You mask the fingerboard and paint the frets with nail polish (or similar).
And feel the difference.

If it's the frets, don't fret.
Choose stainless steel or copper frets. Ask a luthier. smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Sep 14 2008, 11:56 PM
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So steel strings from Ernie Ball , Blue Steel , DR don't work ? Try coated strings from elixir, also DR has some coated strings as I remember (ones in different colors)...I'm sure you can work your way around nickel allergy somehow..Don't stop playing man!


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Jose Mena
post Sep 15 2008, 03:15 PM
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Man, never heard of this before. Like someone said, Jam on a Nylon String until you find a solution, don't quit.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Sep 15 2008, 03:18 PM
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I actually heard about this, people were allergic to nickel euro pennies when they come out...


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Jose Mena
post Sep 15 2008, 03:31 PM
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how about this

http://www.soundsmusical.com/product.asp?productid=134943

No nickel, a little heavy .012, but hey SRV played with a thick gauge, and made 2 whole tone bends. Also Warmoth makes necks with Golden frets, the fretwire is called 61GD it is a nickel free alloy, and I think it looks cool to have golden frets.

Cheers


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 15 2008, 03:34 PM
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I also recommend Elixir strings, check nanoweb and polyweb. Polyweb has a bit dull sound, but thicker coating, and I think your fingers won't get in touch with nickel on these. The only place they do get wear is the place where you pick them, and only a bit. These strings are a bit pricey..

Hope it helps mate, cheers


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Marek Rojewski
post Sep 15 2008, 04:42 PM
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If it's normal allergy, than You can just take medicines, people take these for all their life and it doesn't hurt them, but it will cost money to take them for such a long period of time. Still if nothing else could help I would rather choose this than stop playing.


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Muris Varajic
post Sep 15 2008, 04:59 PM
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I'm really sad to hear this,
try Elixir and eventually play more acoustic with nylon strings. smile.gif


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ragefist
post Sep 16 2008, 12:25 AM
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well I started playing on the d'addario steel strings. I actually really like the extremely bright sound and very stretchy feel of them. I still got the usual allergic reaction but I think it may be from the frets so I won't really know if the new strings help until I get some of those new gold frets. (I think it would look pretty cool to have gold frets too tongue.gif )

Thanks for all the concern guys. I've done some research and I found tons of other guitar players on the net that have the same allergy but no one seems to have a good solution. I'm not going to let this discourage me though, I will do everything in my power to figure this out.

A few interesting facts I found:
Nickel allergy is the second most common skin allergy. (first is latex) Roughly 8% of the population is allergic to nickel. Some people (like myself) only get irritated skin with prolonged contact but some are so sensitive to it they can't even eat foods such as most vegetables that contain traces of nickel. Anyone can develop this allergy at any time in their life. Guitar players get it from nickel strings & frets, flute players often get it on their chin, trumpet players can get it on their hands, even cashiers can get allergic reactions when handling lots of coins. There is no cure. The only thing you can get is a cream to get rid of the rash, but it will always come back when exposed to nickel.

QUOTE (Jose Mena @ Sep 15 2008, 09:31 AM) *
how about this

http://www.soundsmusical.com/product.asp?productid=134943

No nickel, a little heavy .012, but hey SRV played with a thick gauge, and made 2 whole tone bends. Also Warmoth makes necks with Golden frets, the fretwire is called 61GD it is a nickel free alloy, and I think it looks cool to have golden frets.

Cheers


Oh yeah I've already tried those strings they don't say nickel on the description on the internet but I ordered them and it says on the back of the box they have nickel windings. thanks though.

BTW I think I've been trying so many different types of weird strings I think I might write some reviews on them all.
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Bogdan Radovic
post Sep 16 2008, 01:31 PM
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Hmm looking at some pictures on the internet , I may also have some symptoms from time to time(of allergie).I thought about it before but didn't do any study..I get small red dots on palm and/or sides of fingers..But I don't have it all the time, just sometimes they pop up...


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