This spring, it may not be your neighbor’s cottonwood tree causing an allergic reaction—it may be your cell phone. According to Dr. Beth Corn, assistant professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, cell phones are to blame for many allergic reactions, which can easily be mistaken for symptoms of pollen allergies like rashes and itchy skin.
The metal on the outside of a phone often contains nickel, a common skin irritant that can cause contact dermatitis. Usually a rash appears on the cheeks and ears, but redness may also occur on the fingertips of text messagers who have phones with metal buttons.
To prevent cell phone or even iPod allergies, use a hands free device and avoid phones with metal frames or logos, which are often the source of nickel.