London (England) – The British Association of Dermatologists – yes that’s B.A.D. with their awesome web address bad.org.uk – is warning doctors to be on the lookout for what it calls “mobile phone dermatitis”. This ailment is a rash developed on the face or fingers from repeated contact with shiny cellphones. No, it’s not a joke. The people from B.A.D. say the nickel alloy in the handsets can cause red and itchy skin after prolonged contact.
Victims usually develop a red, itchy rash in the cheek or ear area after prolonged phone use as the handset rubs against the face. The rash can even spread to the fingers for people who are text messaging addicts. Hmm… maybe this is an evil plot by Apple to get people to switch to the glass-paneled iPhones? Nah.
In a press release, the association places most of the blame on higher priced handsets. “Closer investigation revealed that the reaction was caused by nickel in the mobile phone handsets, where it is often found in the casing or buttons, particularly in the most fashionable models,” said the association.
BAD says 30 percent of the British population suffers nickel allergies and it’s actually the most common form of contact allergy. The association says women are more likely to be affected by mobile phone dermatitis because they probably acquired sensitivity to nickel from cheap jewelry.