Our dependence on mobile phones has largely increased and there is a common trend of keeping cell phones glued to us no matter where we go. From shopping malls to a restroom, we leave no place where we won’t take our cell phone with us. What no one knows is that this mobile phone addiction can be allergic to us.
This is why itchy skin rashes, scaly skin and burning sensations on hands are being reported by a lot of people of various ages. In-depth research and observational studies have shown that the factor behind these problems is none other than cell phones and these allergies are known as cell phone dermatitis.
Cell phones these days are designed to give a metallic shine to make them more stylish and trendy. This metallic sheen contains allergens like nickel, chromium and cobalt. 72 mobile phones were tested by Marcella Aquino and colleagues in a study to see whether they contained nickel and cobalt. It was found that 29.4% of Blackberry phones had nickel in them, 90.5% of flip phones had nickel and 52% of flip phones had cobalt in them.
According to the case studies, nickel is the most common allergen associated with cell phone dermatitis. It is capable of causing allergies in around 28% of adults. Allergic reactions can also be triggered by electromagnetic radiations.
In the initial stages of cell phone dermatitis, skin irritation occurs in the cheek and ear area (preauricular area) but the rashes can also spread to the thighs if cell phone use is continued. Keeping the cell phone in the pocket is the reason for it to spread to the thighs. A typical indication if nickel or chromium allergy is the development of rashes on the ear or cheek. More is the contact with the allergen, the greater is the severity of the allergy. Hyperpigmentation or skin darkening and scarring are consequences of prolonged contact.
There is no possible way of curing cell phone allergies. However, the best that can be done is to stay away from metal allergies by completely avoiding the allergen. Following are a few guidelines on preventing cell phone allergies without completely giving up your cell phone:
- In order to avoid direct contact with the metal, use a phone cover.
- Limit the time spent in conversations.
- To further reduce direct contact, use earphones.
- Listen to phone calls through speaker phones.
- Refrain from fidgeting with the cell phone when you are not using it.