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AZ Tech Beat | May 23, 2019

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Tech that can make you itch

Tech that can make you itch
Ryan Loebe

While most associate a nickel allergy with earrings, piercings or zippers, more tech companies are coming under attack for their use of particular metals that interact with our skin.

According to the Associated Press one of the most popular tablets on the market, the iPad, may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals. According to a case study by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an 11-year-old boy was recently hospitalized in San Diego because of an itchy body rash caused by his Apple iPad. But, iPad’s are not the only devices that may contain the harmful metal. Recent reports in medical journals detail nickel allergies from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones.

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.

Apple spokesman Chris Gaither chimed in and 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.

It is uncertain whether or not any of Apple’s products contain nickel.

Fitbit FlexMoreover, Apple products are not the only ones snatching headlines regarding allergic reactions. Fitness wearable company, Fitbit, recently recalled their Fitbit Force wristband because it caused skin irritations. The firm has received about 9,900 reports of the wristband causing skin irritation and about 250 reports of blistering. Individuals who suffered these ailments were offered full refunds from Fitbit.

To help protect your skin and body from allergic reactions caused by nickel or metal allergies, it is recommended that you use covers or protective cases around your smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Learn more about nickel allergies from Mayo Clinic here.