Nickel is one of those metals that has been found to induce allergy symptoms. It is frequently found in computer equipment and other forms of information technology hardware. The iPad is the electronic device which recently triggered a visit to a hospital in California for a young boy due to an allergic skin reaction. A recent Associated Press article pointed out the following:
“Nickel rashes aren’t life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable”, 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.”
It became clear to the healthcare professionals that the coating of the iPad, after testing the device, contained nickel. Upon putting the iPad in a protective case, the allergic reaction began to subside and the young boy eventually got better.
Electronic devices are not the only things that contain surface nickel which can come into contact with the skin. There are, in fact, many other nickel-containing products which people come into contact with on a daily basis which ought to be identified by those who suffer from such allergies. The aforementioned article went on to say:
“Nickel rashes also have been traced to other common products including some jewelry, eyeglass frames and zippers.
Jacob said evidence suggests nickel allergies are become more common, or increasingly recognized. She cited national data showing that about 25 percent of children who get skin tests for allergies have nickel allergies, versus about 17 percent a decade ago.”
Rashes Due To Nickel Allergies Have Been Steadily Rising
Because of the rapid proliferation of information throughout society, there are many more opportunities for children to come into contact with nickel on a regular basis. The younger the child, especially those with sensitive skin, the greater the possibility of developing an allergy over the lifetime.
Doctors and nurses alike have cautioned that the best way to prevent these disruptive skin conditions is to avoid the nickel-containing surfaces altogether. Wherever protective measures can be taken for the allergic individual, the better. Children in particular ought to be shielded from all nickel-containing products as soon as a skin allergy is recognized or diagnosed.
People with existing nickel allergies are at risk for rashes from nickel-containing devices. According to an advisory about cellphones on the website of the Nickel Institute, a global association based in Toronto representing nickel producers, the risk arises from contact with nickel-plated outer surfaces “over prolonged periods of time.”
“The length of time required to elicit an allergic reaction will vary from 5 or 10 minutes to never, depending on the sensitivity of the individual,” the advisory says.
It should be noted that women have a greater likelihood of acquiring allergies to nickel than men do. Having sensitive skin and/or fair complexion further predisposes the individual to this condition.
“Clare Richardson, spokeswoman for the Nickel Institute, said research shows as many as 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men in the general population have nickel allergies. She noted that the European Union has legislation aimed at limiting the amount of nickel that can be released from products that come in direct and prolonged contact with skin.”
The broad usage of iPads and iPhones, as well as other types of tablets and smartphones, will create more opportunities for people to come into contact with nickel. Since “an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure”, being aware of rashes, redness and other forms of skin inflammation can help lead the person to identifying the cause. If the allergy test proves positive for nickel, then this it is fairly easy to address so that a prolonged allergic skin condition does not develop into an infection.
Should a skin eruption become infected, the offending devices and/or products should be completely removed so that they do not come into contact with any area of the body. Every measure to address the infection ought to be taken so that the condition does not evolve with further complications.
At the end of the day, it is always better to know if one is allergic to nickel, or any other metal, that is common in our living environment. There are many natural remedies and holistic therapies which can help clear the human body of allergies like these. Likewise, there are numerous alternative treatments and healing modalities which can be used to address any infections should they occur.