You might be allergic to your iPad

BY Justin Scuiletti  July 14, 2014 at 3:05 PM EST

Photo by Flickr user TEDx SF

Photo by Flickr user TEDx SF

Forget swiping at your iPad — the tablet may be taking a swipe at you.

A report in the journal Pediatrics Monday detailed an allergic reaction suffered by an 11-year-old boy treated at a San Diego hospital that doctors say is linked to the use of their family’s first-generation iPad. Doctors said the boy, who used the tablet daily, developed a rash over his body, which was the result of a nickel allergy provoked by the presence of the substance found in the iPad’s outer coating.

The iPad is relatively new when it comes to diagnosing sources of nickel allergies, but the Apple device is not the only culprit. Prolonged exposure to cellphones, laptops, other electronic devices and everyday items, such as eyeglasses and clothing zippers that have nickel-plated coatings, can elicit allergic reactions as well.

Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist who co-wrote the report, said that nickel allergies are becoming more common. Of children who get skin tests for allergies, 25 percent test positive for a nickel allergy, up from 17 percent 10 years ago.

“With the increasing prevalence of nickel allergy in the pediatric population,” Jacob and co-author Shehla Admani wrote, “it is important for clinicians to continue to consider metallic appearing electronics and personal effects as potential sources of nickel exposure.”