Emma Killilea finds money hard to handle – because she’s allergic to nickel.
The 39-year-old’s palms erupt in swollen sores that cause severe itching pains whenever she handles coins.
She suffers from a severe allergy to anything containing nickel – including coins, jewellery, metal buttons and zips.
Her condition means that coming into contact with products containing the harsh metal can cause her skin to break out in painful, irritable welts.
And despite being diagnosed with the allergy, there is nothing she can do to prevent the effects, which can last as long as 24-hours.
The bizarre condition has forced Emma to turn to her credit card in a bid to avoid using coinage when out shopping.
"It is difficult and frustrating because you are always discovering new things with nickel in."
"Coins, buttons, jewellery, zips – the list is endless. So many things have it in. It does make shopping a bit of a nightmare."
"Thankfully in this day and age we can use cards to buy pretty much everything and can almost do without coins."
Emma first discovered she had the problematic condition aged nine when her aunt gave her a gold necklace.
After wearing the gift she began developing irritating hives wherever it came into contact with her skin.
Then as a teenager Emma noticed that holding coins for too long had the same effect on her palms – forcing her to begin avoiding coppers and silvers as much as possible.
Nickel allergies are said to be on the increase in the UK because of the high quantity of products containing the metal – but severe cases are still quite rare.
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