Digital communication and social interaction certainly have become the norm, but can it be dangerous to your health? Many have argued that our obsession with smart phones and tablets can diminish our social skills and limit “real” interaction with other human beings. A new concern has emerged that a popular tablet computer could actually pose a risk to our skin.
The outside coating of the iPad contains a chemical compound found in nickel one of the most common allergy-inducing metals. This was discovered after an 11-year old boy developed a skin rash traced back to using his iPad without a protective cover.
Nickel rashes are not life-threatening but they can be very uncomfortable, and they may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics if the skin eruptions become infected.
Skin testing will reveal allergies to nickel which are becoming more common, most likely due to advances in recognition. A national data study shows that 25% of children who undergo allergy skin tests have nickel allergies, versus 17% a decade ago
Nickel rashes have commonly been traced to other everyday products including some jewelry, eyeglass frames and zippers. Whether all iPad models and other Apple devices contain nickel is uncertain; Apple spokesman Chris Gaither said the company had no comment. One simple solution is to place the device in a protective case when using it. As with any skin concern you may have, it is best to consult with your dermatologist if you develop a rash.