Got a rash? iPad, other devices might be the cause

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm •  Published: July 14, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.

Recent reports in medical journals detail nickel allergies from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones. But it was an Apple iPad that caused an itchy body rash in an 11-year-old boy recently treated at a San Diego hospital, according to a report in Monday's Pediatrics.

Nickel rashes aren't life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable, and they may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics if the skin eruptions become infected, said Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children's Hospital, where the boy was treated. Jacob, who co-wrote the report, said the young patient had to miss school because of the rash.

The boy discussed in the Pediatrics report had a common skin condition that causes scaly patches, but he developed a different rash all over his body that didn't respond to usual treatment. Skin testing showed he had a nickel allergy, and doctors traced it to an iPad his family had bought in 2010.

Doctors tested the device and detected a chemical found in nickel in the iPad's outside coating.

"He used the iPad daily," Jacob said.

He got better after putting it in a protective case, she said

Whether all iPad models and other Apple devices contain nickel is uncertain.

Apple spokesman Chris Gaither said the company's "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 have found that allergies like the one reported in this case are extremely rare," he said in an emailed statement.

Microsoft spokeswoman Ryan Bartholomew declined to comment on whether that company's devices contain nickel.

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