Could it be that your phone is causing your mysterious allergic response?
Studies have now identified mobile phones and similar devices as sources of metal sensitization and potential causes of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Despite efforts by manufacturers to control allergen release in phones, many phones on the market release levels of metals, such as nickel and chromium, which are sufficient to induce ACD. This is according to a new article in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal.
Nickel and chromium sensitization very common in children
A team led by researcher Jacob Thyssen, MD, PhD, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and University of Arizona College of Medicine reviewed the current literature on mobile-phone dermatitis in both children and adults. Children commonly experience nickel sensitization resulting in ACD prevalence of up to 33 percent.
It is important that health care practitioners know about the metal allergen release, particularly when evaluating patients with dermatitis of the face, neck, hands, breast, or anterior thighs. These are the most common places where cell phones are stored or held. In the article there are diagnostic tips and strategies for raising awareness of the nickel or chromium induced mobile phone ACD.
Rising use of mobile devices calls for better testing
“With the rising use of cell phones and other mobile devices, pediatricians can expect to see additional cases of ACD,” said Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook and pediatric pulmonologist at Winthrop University Hospital. “Thyssen’s paper discusses diagnostic patch testing for common metal allergens and the value of spot testing of the patient’s phone in establishing a causal relationship.”