Called allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), the prolonged cell phone exposure can cause dermatitis of the face, neck, hands, or anterior thighs - common places exposed to cell phones, researchers warn.
"With the rising use of cell phones and other mobile devices, pediatricians can expect to see additional cases of ACD," said Mary Cataletto, a professor of clinical pediatrics at State University of New York at Stony Brook.
A team of researchers led by Jacob Thyssen from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte reviewed the current literature on mobile phone dermatitis in both children and adults.
They found that nickel sensitisation is common in children, resulting in ACD prevalence levels of up to 33 percent.
The authors have provided important diagnostic tips for practitioners and strategies to raise awareness of nickel- or chromium-induced mobile phone ACD.
"Thyssen's paper discusses diagnostic patch testing for common metal allergens and the value of spot testing of the patient's phone in establishing a causal relationship," Cataletto explained.
Previous studies have identified mobile phones and related devices as sources of metal sensitisation and potential causes of ACD.
Despite efforts to control allergen release in phones, many phones on the market release levels of metals, such as nickel and chromium, which are sufficient to induce ACD, said the paper published in the journal Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology.