Nickel Found In iPad May Have Caused Itchy Body Rash On 11-Year-Old

Sitting on the couch dominating the latest “it” game on the tablet seems like a pretty safe activity. But daily use of an iPad reportedly led to a rather unwelcome rash for an 11-year-old California boy.

The possible presence of nickel, a common allergy-inducing metal, in the tablet may be the cause of an itchy body rash that formed on the boy’s skin, according to an AP story on a new report in the journal Pediatrics.

While the boy already had a common skin condition that caused scaly patches, he developed a different rash that was not responding to usual treatments.

A skin test showed the boy had a nickel allergy, and doctors were able to trace it back to the iPad the family bought in 2010. Testing of the iPad detected a chemical compound found in nickel present in the iPad’s outside coating.

Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children’s Hospital where the boy was treated, said that while nickel rashes aren’t life-threatening, they can be very uncomfortable and may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics.

Jacob reported that the boy’s condition got better after putting a protective case on the iPad.

Its unclear if other iPad models or Apple devices contain nickel. An Apple spokesman told the AP the company had no comment on the issue.

Jacob urges doctors to consider electronic devices when assisting patients with skin rashes.

Earlier this year, a number of consumers reported receiving contact dermatitis from the popular Fitbit Force device that at tracks users’ steps, stairs climbed, and the quality of their sleep.

While the company undertook its own recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled nearly 1 million devices after receiving more than 10,000 complaints from consumers.

Got a rash? iPad, other devices might be the cause [The Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.