Blackberry phones could trigger skin allergies

Last Updated: Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 17:18

London: iPhones have an edge over Blackberries, when it comes to your health, according to a study.

The study being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), tested several popular smartphones for two of the most common allergens – cobalt and nickel – and found neither metal was present in iPhones.

But one-third of all Blackberries tested contained nickel.

“Both metals can cause an allergic reaction including dry, itchy patches along the cheekbones, jawline and ears,” said allergist Tania Mucci, M.D., lead study author and ACAAI member.

The less popular flip phone models also revealed levels of cobalt and nickel. Roughly 91 percent contained nickel and 52 percent tested positive for cobalt.

These metals are commonly used in items such as jewelry, coins and even makeup. Nickel is one of the most common contact allergens, affecting 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men.

In the wake of these finding experts recommend iPhones for those with sensitive skin.

“Patients with nickel and cobalt allergies should consider using iPhones or Droids to reduce the chance of having an allergic reaction,” said allergist Luz Fonacier, M.D., study author and ACAAI fellow.

“Blackberry users with known allergies should avoid prolonged conversations, text messaging and handling their phones if they begin noticing symptoms,” Fonacier added.

Symptoms of nickel and cobalt allergies can include redness, swelling, itching, eczema, blistering, skin lesions and occasional scarring.

For sufferers that are glued to their phones, ACAAI advises opting for plastic phone cases, wireless ear pieces and clear film screens to decrease allergic reactions.

ANI



First Published: Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 17:18

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