The boy, treated at a San Diego hospital, had a history of skin issues, but a different rash developed all over his body and wouldn’t respond to typical treatment. His skin tested positive for nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals, and doctors traced it back to an iPad he had used with increasing frequency the past six months. The iPad tested positive for nickel as well, according to the report.
According to the article in Pediatrics, the boy was advised to use the Smart Case, “which provides overall coverage of the iPad, as opposed to the Smart Cover, which only provides coverage of the screen.” When he did that, the rash significantly improved.
Nickel rashes aren’t life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable. They may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics if skin eruptions become infected, Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, where the boy was treated, told the Associated Press. Jacob is a co-author of the report.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a nickel allergy may include:
- Rash or bumps on the skin
- Itching, which may be severe
- Redness or changes in skin color
- Dry patches of skin that may resemble a burn
- Blisters and draining fluid in severe cases
It’s unclear whether all iPad models and other Apple devices contain nickel. Apple spokesman Chris Gaither told the AP that the company had no comment.