According to a report in the Monday's Pediatrics, an Apple iPad caused a body rash in an 11-year-old boy who was treated at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego Hospital. This led to a large number of reports in medical journals that detailed the effects of nickel on the body. Nickel from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptop's and cell phones causes allergies.
Nickel is a common element used in every electronic device, and it is one of the most common allergy-inducing metals. Dr Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children's Hospital, said that though nickel rashes aren't life threatening, they are extremely uncomfortable, and in cases where the skin eruptions get infected, treatments with steroids and antibiotics may become necessary. Jacob, who co-wrote the report, said with regard to the young patient that he had to miss school because of the rash.
The boy was suffering from a common skin condition that causes scaly patches. But strangely, he developed an unusual rash all over his body that did not respond to the usual treatment. Skin test showed he had a nickel allergy, and the doctors stated that it is due to the iPad his family had bought in 2010.
On testing, doctors detected a chemical compound found in nickel in the iPad's outside coating. "He used the iPad daily," she said. When the phone was placed in a protective case, his condition got better, she said.
It is uncertain if all iPad models and other Apple devices contain nickel. Apple spokesman Chris Gaither, however, stayed mum; he said the company had no comment.
Jacob said that nickel rashes are also traced to some jewelry, eyeglass frames and zippers. She said that in recent times they have become more common or increasingly recognised. National data shows that 25 per cent of children who get skin tests for allergies have nickel allergies, versus about 17 per cent a decade ago. She said doctors must consider electronic devices as potential sources when patients seek treatment for skin rashes.