Cell phone junkies may come to develop something even more irritating than a costly bill: cell phone dermatitis. Caused by an allergy to nickel, a metal found in mobile devices, several cases of a rash along the jaw line have been reported from frequent cell phone users.
People with nickel allergies often develop contact dermatitis, a red, itchy and bumpy rash, in places where the metal has touched the skin. Nickel is usually found in jewellery and clothes fasteners, but increased cell phone usage coinciding with the allergy means that skin at the jawline is exposed to the metal more frequently and for longer periods of time.
If you suspect that you may have this allergy, your dermatologists can confirm the diagnosis by conducting a patch test. Possible contact allergens are applied to your skin, and then evaluated to see if they are an irritant.
In cases of nickel dermatitis, the key is avoiding contact with nickel-containing metals. With regards to your cell phone, strategies for avoiding contact include purchasing a cover for it, using a hands-free headset (e.g. Bluetooth), using your speaker phone or finding a phone that does not contain the metal.