Silver wrapping allergy?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by JtheJazzMan, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    For some reason lately Ive developed incredibly dry cracked skin on my first finger suspiciously exactly where it touches the silver wrapping on the bow. Im assuming its a silver or nickel? I know flute players who have this trouble.

    Is there any remedies for this on the bow? Maybe some thin varnish or something to cover the metal?
  2. I react to a lot of metals. I have not touched my bow in several years so I don't know if it is a problem there for me ( I own a bow but no bass at this time). I think you are on the right track. For the short term, you may want to try a little bit of masking tape or something similar to see if your finger improves.

    When I worked in medical research we had to coat all the metal in our test rigs except for some finer grades of stainless. If we didn't do this, the cells we were testing would die. We used something called collodion but I can't say that it would be a safe thing to use on a bow wire.

  3. anonymous02282011

    anonymous02282011 Guest

    Jun 27, 2007
    Sounds like it. I had a student who had an allergy to the metal wrap on his strings. Try changing it out for another material or cover it up as suggested. You can also get those little latex finger covers from any pharmacy over the counter.
  4. Whether it's 'nickel silver' (as the nickel alloy used on bows and instrument keys etc. is known in England) or sterling silver, you're quite likely to be reacting to the copper which is the main other constituent in both alloys - many people have this copper sensitivity but don't realise it's the copper in the mix that's causing it. Pure silver is more pricey (and a bit harder to work), but can be a solution, as can silver electro-plating, which deposits a skin of pure silver. Gold is not, as anything that's not 24K has some copper in it. I can't wear gold earrings for this reason - my earlobes turn into ripe figs in protest :(.