The British Association of Dermatologists has warned that some mobile phones – if used for long periods – could cause skin rashes on the ears of face cheeks. The unidentified rash or itchy skin, nicknamed “mobile phone dermatitis,” can occur if people develop an allergic reaction to the nickel in mobile phone cases, the dermatologists trade body warned doctors in an advisory notice.
“In mobile phone dermatitis, the rash would typically occur on the cheek or ear, depending on where the metal part of the phone comes into contact with the skin. In theory it could even occur on the fingers if you spend a lot of time texting on metal menu buttons,” said Dr. Graham Lowe, from the British Association of Dermatologists.
“It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained,” he added in a statement.
The notice advised that the problem may occur more often in women who have been sensitized to metal after an allergic reaction to nickel-coated jewelry
Earlier this year, Lionel Bercovitch of USA based, Brown University tested 22 mobile phones from eight different manufacturers and found nickel in 10 of the cases.
“Nearly half of the phones we spot-tested contained some free nickel,” Bercovitch said in the report. “The menu buttons, decorative logos on the headsets and the metallic frames around the liquid crystal display (LCD) screens were the most common sites.”
According to the results of Bercovitch’s tests, the Motorola L2, Motorola Rzr, Motorola SLVR and Motorola Q all had nickel in brand-logo, while the following had nickel elsewhere on the casing: BlackBerry 8700c (speakerphone); Samsung e150 (metal around the screen and menu button); Samsung d807 (menu button); SonyEricsson W600i (menu button); SonyEricsson W810i (menu button); and the Sony Ericsson T610 (only if the paint is chipped).