Skin Rash? You Might Be Allergic to Your Cellphone

Photo (cc) by Elvert Barnes

Do you have redness or itching on your face, ears or hands? Your mobile phone might be the culprit.

Some studies have identified cellphones as a source of metal sensitization and possible cause of allergic contact dermatitis.

According to an article published in the journal Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, using your phone continuously for 30 minutes or more can trigger the onset of skin allergies for people sensitive to nickel, cobalt and chromium.

Allergic contact dermatitis symptoms include dry, itchy patches, blistering, redness, lesions, and sometimes oozing, according to Medical Daily. Danish and U.S. researchers identified 37 incidents since 2000 where cellphones were to blame for contact dermatitis.

Fortunately, not all cellphones contain metal. The study by California’s Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte said that, of the phones it tested, nearly 75 percent of Samsung phones, half of BlackBerrys and 70 percent of Motorola phones had nickel or cobalt on the headset or keypad.

Phones that showed a lot of wear and tear on the keypad were more likely to test positive for nickel, Medical Daily said.

Apple iPhones, Nokias and Androids were found to be free of metals. Click here to see if your phone contains metals that could cause an allergic reaction.

Nearly 10 percent of children and adults are allergic to nickel. But children are especially sensitive. The Telegraph said:

“With the rising use of cellphones and other mobile devices, pediatricians can expect to see additional cases of allergic contact dermatitis,” said Mary Cataletto, professor of clinical pediatrics, State University of New York.

“This information is important for practitioners, particularly when evaluating patients with dermatitis of the face, neck, hands, breast, or anterior thighs — common places exposed to cellphones.”

Dermatology experts recommend using a plastic cover on your phone or earpiece if you have a sensitivity to metals, The Telegraph said.

Have you had any phone sensitivity issues? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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