Nickel In iPad Linked To Skin Rashes
GAINESVILLE - Do you have an unexplained rash that doesnt go away? Well check out your electronics. It turns out the iPad, a popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common metals to cause allergic reactions. I talked to a local expert who tells more about the findings.
A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics looks into the case of an 11-year-old boy whose skin tested positive for nickel. Doctors traced the cause of the rash back to an iPad he had been using with more frequency lately.
"I definitely think we live in a type of society, especially a generation that we are addicted to our technology," said Amber Opsincs, Gainesville resident.
The Nickel Institute says 17% of women and 3% of men in the general population have nickel allergies.
Dr. Erica Canova with the Gainesville Dermatology Aesthetic Center says the numbers are going up. "Nickel allergy has increased over the last decade from 17 percent to 25 percent. So what that will present itself as is a red itchy rashy area that even though you treat it… it doesn't get better cause you're still having that exposure," Dr. Canova said.
Opsincs can relate. For most of her life she was allergic to certain metals. "I used to have an allergy to metals when i got my ears pierced. I know a lot of girls who have allergies to metals and that's something you don't think about when you're getting an ipad," Opsincs said.
Opsincs believes these types of products should include a label or disclaimer as a warning. "It's not like anybody tells you… there this amount of zinc and this amount of nickel in the casing of your ipad or your iphone. So that's a problem especially for the people who have these allergies and don't know it," Opsnics said,
Dr. Canova said, "A lot of times people will treat you with a topical steroid, typically. And you will see some improvement but it never really goes away because you're still having that contact and that exposure you actually will still have that rash so ultimately the best treatment is to limit that exposure."
Whether all iPad models or apple products contain nickel is uncertain. One way to prevent developing any skin rashes is to go ahead and use a protective gear on your electronics.
Dr. Canova says if you are suffering from a skin condition and don't know what it is, allergy patch testing is the best way to figure it out. "Classically when you think of nickel allergy, we think of buttons and belts and earrings and jewelry that can have nickel in it. But now we have to think outside the box, you can actually test to see if you react to nickel and then if there is a reaction you have to do more investigative search into your lifestyle to see where your exposures may be coming from," Dr. Canova added.
Dr. Canova says nickel rashes are not life-threatening but can be very uncomfortable. If not treated, skin eruptions can become infected thats why she recommends seeing your doctor.
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