Am I allergic to my guitar?

Hey, so last summer I got myself a new guitar, a Slash Les Paul Standard. And a couple weeks later I started having these red bumps that were really itchy, and sometimes it’s accompanied by a rash. Now the thing is, it’s mostly on my arms, elbows, stomach and even my chest. It comes and goes. But my hands and fingers are perfectly fine.

I don’t really know much about allergies or the materials that guitars are made of, but mine’s made out of mahogany, maple, Indian laurel and the hardware contains nickel as well. Do you guys think I could be allergic to any of those, even though I get those bumps in places where my skin doesn’t get in direct contact with the guitar? I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask and maybe one of you guys went through something similar.

I’ve already went to the doctors, but they didn’t really know what it was and referred me to a dermatologist. So now I’m waiting for that appointment. But in the mean time I’m still trying to figure out what it is I might be allergic to.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Brent,
Hi annoying for you :frowning_face:, good luck with that, and waiting for the examination and hopefully advice from your dermatologist, there can be so many things there to which your skin reacts that asking here really won’t add much (I think)… but maybe some extra fear if someone comes up with a very scary story …like “yes it`s probably the guitar” :grimacing: or???.. but if you don’t mind that…there is of course nothing wrong with asking questions … if it turns out to be guitar related, I’d love to hear it from you … good luck :crossed_fingers:

Seems odd that a rash due to a guitar would come up where you don’t touch it and in the hands.

Have you washed the guitar with anything? Or maybe you should if you haven’t. Maybe a little vinegar and water wipe down.

Also, sadly, put the guitar away for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

I would hazzard a guess that could be a metal allergy, belt buckles are a common cause of stomach and chest rashes. Buckles can have a nickel coating…

I’m not sure about chrome fittings, they could have a nickel base but I dont know if that can leach through the chrome.


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Sounds unlikely to me - unless you are playing your guitar sans vetements. Where you say you have your rash, and more importantly - where you don’t have it; it’s more likely to be something to do with laundry detergent or something like that.

Your dermatologist will most likely give you a cream and will hopefully be able to tell you what the rash is, and the most likely common causes of it - but it may also be a process of eliminating certain things in your life to actually be able to identify the root cause.

To be clear… I’m not saying that you will need to eliminate your cat or close family :wink:

You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion:

Is calamine lotion still a thing? I was handed a big bottle of it when I was stung really badly after being swept onto a coral reef a few years ago while diving in Egypt. But I’ve not seen it in the UK since I was a kid when I had chickenpox…

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Leaves of three let it be.

Do you keep your guitar in its case? Some guitar cases use nasty glues that off gas for years. Keep your guitar out and keep the case open in a garage if possible for a few weeks.

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Hi Brent @winteverywhere.

Rachel (@Libitina) might be on to something.

Are you perhaps allergic to nickel?
Of so, it may the fretwire.
And if that’s the case, you can refret the guitar and use Jescar’s Evo frets. Or stainless steel.

I thought everyone played naked? Am I doing it wrong?


No, thats how I do it too.



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first thought: nickle allergy

try nickle free strings

:joy: love it!

Brings back fond memories of growing up in Detroit in the 60’s before all hell broke loose!

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