Mobile phone skin allergies on the rise

Reported by Don Maisch, EMFacts.

Dermatologists say they are seeing increasing numbers of allergic reactions to mobile phones.

US dermatologists warn that ³cellular phone dermatitis² is an emerging problem, especially among adolescents, and that they believe it is likely to be more common than reported.

They have described five adolescents, aged 12-18, who developed either eczema like rashes or lesions over their ears, cheeks and chin on one side of the face after regular use of a mobile phone.

Four of the patients had a history of nickel dermatitis and all had mobile phones which tested positive for nickel, the dermatologists wrote in Pediatric Dermatology.

In one case, a 12-year-old boy with a history of atopic dermatitis and nickel allergy had itchy spots on the right side of the face and neck.

The dermatologists said a distinct eczema-like plaque had appeared on his right cheek, corresponding to the wireless Bluetooth headset for his mobile phone, which later tested positive for nickel.

His dermatitis improved when he stopped using the headset and treatment the area with an anti-inflammatory cream.

The dermatologists said nickel allergy ­ named contact allergen of the year for 2008 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society ­ occurred frequently and was rising in incidence.

They were aware of 26 cases of mobile phone dermatitis being reported, caused by allergic contact dermatitis to either nickel or chromate.

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