- Rash on or around right thumb
- Rash on hands or fingertips
- Burning or tingling sensation on thumb, fingertips, or hands
Possible Reaction Points
- Right thumb (most common, due to constant contact)
- Fingertips or hands
Right thumb reactions
- Cover thumb rest with thumb rest cover or pencil grip
- Cover thumb rest with nail polish
- Replace thumb rest with a nickel free thumb rest
Hand and fingertip reactions
- Gloves (must be nitrile)
- Oboe or English Horn models with sterling-silver or gold-plated keys
For those allergic to either the metal keywork or the wood the clarinet is made out of, a musician can use nitrile gloves to protect their hands. Though it may seem like technical facility would be challenging while wearing nitrile gloves, in actuality, a good seal over the clarinet tone holes can still be achieved with a little effort. Particularly with someone that uses these gloves right from the start, getting used to them will most likely not pose a problem. Be sure to find gloves that are a good fit.
Alternative Key Plating Materials
Some instrument companies offer silver or gold-plated keys. These instruments are great alternatives for nickel allergic individuals, but these instruments can be cost prohibitive. It is important to keep in mind that a lot of silver-plating is nickel silver, which contains a very high nickel content and is not appropriate for nickel allergic individuals. Gold generally tends to be more hypoallergenic than silver, as it contains less nickel. It is however much more costly than silver-plating and there are not as many gold-plated options as there are silver-plated.