Watch Out for ‘Mobile Phone Dermatitis’

We’ve heard of brain tumors from excessive cell phone use (regardless of the lack of scientific evidence to support it), but how about a rash? Reuters reports that doctors, “baffled by an unexplained rash on people’s ears or cheeks,” should be on alert for a skin allergy caused by too much mobile phone use, the British Association of Dermatologists said in a statement.

The condition is called mobile phone dermatitis, according to the report, and is characterized by red, itchy skin. “It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained,” the organization said. It seems to be related to the nickel used in some metal phone designs, and could even end up on a user’s fingers if the phone’s buttons are metal.

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