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Nickel in iPads can Trigger Allergic Reactions

Update Date: Jul 14, 2014 09:51 AM EDT

An iPad case not only protects the device from dents and chips, it can also prevent users from developing rashes, doctors reported. According to a new report, iPads and other similar devices can trigger a reaction in people with skin allergies to nickel. In order to reduce one's risk of developing an allergic reaction, Sharon Jacob and Shehla Admani, dermatologists from the University of California, San Diego stated that people should invest in form-fitting cases.

"Metallic-appearing electronics and personal effects [are] potential sources of nickel exposure," the doctors wrote. "Common sources of nickel exposure in children include nickel-releasing clothing fasteners, ear piercings, and nickel-containing dental work."

In the report, the doctors focused on one medical case in an 11-year-old boy. The child was brought to UCSD's Rady Chidlren's Hospital due to a generalized rash that has been affecting him for six months. Prior to seeking medical care, the child was using allergy creams. However, for this particular rash, the creams were not working.

The doctors conducted a skin patch test and discovered the patient's nickel allergy. The doctors worked with the child's parents and concluded that the allergen was a 2010 iPad. After covering up the metallic part of the iPad, the doctors noted that the child's rash improved.

"Nickel allergy is one of the most common allergies seen in dermatology. It may cause acute reactions, with itching, crusting and redness, as well as a chronic dermatitis with scaling and redness. It's not surprising that increased nickel exposure is leading to an increase in nickel allergy in kids," commented Dr. Gary Goldenberg, an assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City according to HealthDay.

Typical signs of a nickel allergy include rashes, bumps, itchiness, redness, dry skin patches, changes in skin color and/or blisters.

The case report, "iPad-Increasing Nickel Exposure in Children," was published in the journal, Pediatrics.

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