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Electronic devices could be making you itch

Evidence suggests that nickel allergies are becoming more common, and your iPad could be part of the problem.

Dr. Sharon Jacob, dermatologist at Rady Children's Hospital, told The Associated Press that data showed 25 percent of children who get tested for skin allergies are allergic to nickel, which is up from 17 percent just 10 years ago. Nickel is one of the most common metals to cause skin irritation, which isn't life threatening but can cause terrible itching.

Jacob treated an 11-year-old boy with a preexisting skin condition who found himself with a new rash that would not clear up with his usual treatment. The rash was so bad he couldn't go to school, and finally the doctors figured out he was allergic to nickel, which was traced to the coating of the iPad his family purchased in 2010. After he put it in a case, his condition improved.

Apple spokesman Chris Gaither had no comment on whether or not other Apple devices contain nickel. Jacob, whose report on the allergy is in Monday's Pediatrics, said that doctors need to consider personal electronic devices when patients come in with skin rashes.