Written by Whitney Wetzel
Last updated on November 14, 2012 @ 7:31PM
Created on November 14, 2012 @ 7:08PM
Now that winter is just around the corner, allergy sufferers out there can breathe a sigh of relief. That is unless they suffer from metal allergies, in which case your cell phone could be causing things to flare up.
Allergists are reporting that some smartphone users are actually allergic to their own devices. That might sound strange, but two of the most common allergens that trigger reactions in smartphone users are cobalt and nickel.
In a new study, researchers found that blackberries could be a bad idea for some people who are allergic to nickel, whereas iPhones and Droids may be a safer choice. About one-third of all blackberries contain nickel, but iPhones and Droids don't contain cobalt or nickel.
Both of those metals can cause an allergic reaction, which includes dry, itchy patches on your cheek bones, jaw line, and ears. This allergy affects 17 percent of women and three percent of men. Both metals can also cause redness, swelling, itching, eczema, blistering, skin lesions, and even scarring.
Dermatologists said this allergy is like poison ivy. If you're allergic, just stay away.
"For the belly-button rashes, what we do is have them put clear nail polish on their [jean's] buttons if they're made out of nickel. Sometimes that helps. But it's kind of hard to paint your whole phone with clear nail polish to cover it up. So, it's kind of better to just find a phone that's made out of non-metal," said Dr. Michele Maouad, Dermatologist.
With a nickel allergy, the more you're exposed to the metal, the worse the rash gets. Allergists said it's actually the most common allergy in the U.S.
Typically it's only an issue when it comes to metal buttons on your jeans, which could give you an irritation or rash around your belly button. Also sometimes earrings that have a high content of nickel could also cause an allergic reaction. So those are two signs you should look for, if you think you could have a nickel allergy.
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