Allergists and dermatologists are seeing an increasing number of "cellphone rashes," itchy, red bumps or painful blisters along the jaw, cheek and ear. But while it's often referred to as cellphone allergy, it's actually a nickel allergy. Increased use of cellphones has led to prolonged exposure to nickel, a metal that's often used in phone buttons, LCD screen frames and headsets. However, there are also people who may be allergic to the electromagnetic emissions from cellphones.
Nickel allergy affects about 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men — women develop cellphone rash more often because they're more likely to have been sensitized to nickel through ear piercing. If you develop a rash from touching money or from skin rubbing against belt buckles or the button of your jeans, you may also have a nickel allergy.