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Technology fueling dermatology skin reactions in children

Dermatologists advise that the technology used by children today is driving increasing dermatology skin allergies such as contact dermatitis. Child-care products that their parents may be using are also contributing to more cases of dermatology skin allergies.

Nickel has been a common patch-test used by Dermatologists for testing children with contact dermatitis, particularly girls who have had piercings or exposure from jewellery. Increased nickel exposure is now being fuelled by children’s use of technology including smartphones and tablets. Toys are more sophisticated with electronic components and moving parts, that may contain nickel.  On-going nickel exposure in children may predispose them to nickel allergies later in life.

According to Dermatologists it is not just the nickel used in technology that is to blame. The rubber and plastic and dyes in accessories and headphones for smartphones and tablets is also causing increased dermatology allergic reaction.

Methylisothiazolinone is a very common preservative used widely in skincare products that is also fuelling increased dermatology skin allergies. It was named contact allergen of the year in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This preservative is widely used in skincare products as it increases shelf-life and prevents bacterial growth. While useful as a preservative, it can be irritating and allergenic to children’s skin. As a result children are experiencing perianal reactions from baby’s wipes, facial reactions and hand eczema from moisturising creams and lotions, and reactions from shampoos and conditioners.

Dermatologists advise that while steroid creams can help in treating flare-ups, the key is to identify the cause of the dermatology allergy and to avoid further contact. Dermatologists use patch-testing to identify allergies to nickel, rubbers, plastics or dye’s and preservatives such as Methylisothiazolinone.

Further information can be found in The Dermatology Times.

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