Doctors: iPad to Blame for Boy's Bad Rash

His device was found to contain nickel, which can cause allergic reaction

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 14, 2014 8:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nickel frequently causes allergic reactions, and the metal is found in all kinds of gadgets. Case in point: an iPad. An 11-year-old boy suffered a rash so bad he had to stay home from school and was eventually treated at a hospital in San Diego, and it turns out the culprit was a first-generation iPad purchased in 2010, which he used "daily," says Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at the hospital that treated him. The rash spread across his body and didn't respond to standard treatments, the AP reports by way of Pediatrics.

Putting the iPad in a case and wiping nickel from his diet solved the problem, Jacob says. Apple hasn't commented on the situation, and it's not clear whether all iPads contain nickel, the AP notes. In the boy's case, doctors tested the device and identified a chemical compound found in nickel in the iPad's outside coating. But many items do contain the metal, including some jewelry and zippers. Nickel allergies are on the rise, says Jacob, who points to data showing 25% of kids who are skin-tested for allergies show a nickel allergy, up from 17% a decade ago. Pediatricians suggest parents put iPads in metal-free cases, CBC notes.

A man walks by a sign for Apple's iPad at shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
This undated photo provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a rash from a nickel allergy on an 11-year-old boy.   (AP Photo/American Academy of Pediatrics)
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