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Have a rash? Your iPad and other devices may be to blame

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.

Recent reports in medical journals detail nickel allergies from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones. But it was an Apple iPad that caused an itchy body rash in an 11-year-old boy recently treated at a San Diego hospital, according to a report in Monday's Pediatrics.

Study: iPad Source Of Skin Irritation

Nickel rashes aren't life-threatening but they can be very uncomfortable, and they may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics if the skin eruptions become infected, said Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children's Hospital, where the boy was treated. Jacob, who co-wrote the report, said the young patient had to miss school because of the rash.

The boy had a common skin condition that causes scaly patches, but he developed a different rash all over his body that didn't respond to usual treatment. Skin testing showed he had a nickel allergy, and doctors traced it to an iPad his family had bought in 2010.

Doctors tested the device and detected a chemical compound found in nickel in the iPad's outside coating.

"He used the iPad daily," she said.

He got better after putting it in a protective case, she said

Whether all iPad models and other Apple devices contain nickel is uncertain; Apple spokesman Chris Gaither said the company had no comment.

Nickel rashes also have been traced to other common products including some jewelry, eyeglass frames and zippers.

Jacob said evidence suggests nickel allergies are become more common, or increasingly recognized. She cited national data showing that about 25 percent of children who get skin tests for allergies have nickel allergies, versus about 17 percent a decade ago.

She said doctors need to consider electronic devices as potential sources when patients seek treatment for skin rashes.

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alfredschrader July 14 2014 at 10:01 AM

Most stainless steel cookware contains nickel. It's considered to be inert.

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simpljb alfredschrader July 14 2014 at 12:20 PM

nickel is in pretty much in everything of metal these days , it takes the place of pure metals , pure aluminum , SS , chrome etc. , its added so that the industry has more of those other more precious metals to manufacture

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anandaone July 14 2014 at 11:25 AM

Seriously, some people need to just stay in the house, or better yet, inside a plastic bubble.

Maybe I should avoid carrying change in my pockets because the nickles (why do you think they call them that?) are going to cause me an "eruption" of rashes. Geesh!

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simpljb anandaone July 14 2014 at 12:23 PM

you joke but it is a serious issue , i've been battling skin issues for quite sometime , nickel is a substitute used in many metals that make up or take the place of pure metals , even "nickels" contain other metals , no metal is pure , aluminum , Stainless Steel , chrome all contain Nickel

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anandaone July 14 2014 at 11:27 AM


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ledamelvin July 14 2014 at 11:59 AM

Can't wait to see what they come up with next. Glad i'm not a poranoid person.

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simpljb July 14 2014 at 12:17 PM

I worked as an auto mechanic for 22 years and developed scaly hands that only steriods would cure or control , my tools have nickel in them and since 99 I have owned my own PC and tablet , back in the 90s when I was a mechanic , after seeing a dermotologist I was cured only to have it comeback in 2001 and haven't been able to kick it since , gotta get out those vinyl gloves , seems I'm allergic to latex too !!

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