If you’ve ever had a rash or irritated skin after wearing earrings, necklaces or a watch, chances are it is due to you having an allergic reaction to the metal nickel. Nickel allergies are common but seem on the upswing in recent years, with recent studies showing nearly twenty-five percent of children tested for allergies showed an adverse reaction to nickel. This is posing a problem for some, as nickel is in everything from jewelry to electronics.

Thankfully, most who have allergic reactions to nickel only have minor symptoms. However, a report released recently profiled an 11-year-old boy who had a rash that spread over a large part of his body. Doctors eliminated all everything they could think of that would be causing this rash, and yet it persisted.

After much consternation, the doctors discovered the cause, the iPad that belonged to the boy’s parents.

iPadThe boy in the report already had a condition that caused rough scaly patches to appear on his skin. However, once the boy developed rashes all over his body, the parents took him to a doctor, which eventually led to them discovering that the iPad was to blame. The device itself caused the boy no issues, however the coating that was on the surface of the device was the source of the nickel that caused the boy’s rashes.

The iPad was bought by the parents in 2010, and the boy started using the device often shortly afterwards. “He used the iPad daily,” one of the boy’s doctors said. Once the parents purchased a case for the iPad, as well as starting the boy on what the doctors called a “nickel avoidance regimen”, the boy’s rashes improved.

With the rising number of nickel allergies in children the report stated that doctors should be more aware of what electronic devices children were using when they come in for treatment due to a nickel allergy.

“With the increasing prevalence of nickel allergy in the pediatric population, it is important for clinicians to continue to consider metallic-appearing electronics and personal effects as potential sources of nickel exposure,” the authors of the report concluded.

Upon the report’s release, Apple released a statement of their own about the boy’s allergic skin reaction. The report from Apple stated:

“We have found that allergies like the one reported in this case are extremely rare. Apple products are made from the highest quality materials and meet the same strict standards set for jewelry by both the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission and their counterparts in Europe. We rigorously test our products to make sure they are safe for all our customers.”

There has been no word on if Apple plans to change the formula for the coating on the iPad. While cases such as the one that afflicted the boy above are rare, it would be best to purchase a case or cover for your iPad if you or anyone you know has a sensitivity or allergy to nickel.

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