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Health: Cell Phones & Kissing Growing Allergic Reaction Culprits

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stephanie-web Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Experts at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology are calling attention to some allergies that are happening more and more.

3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has what people can do to combat them.

Most people have a cell phone, and can’t leave home without it. But for some, chatting endlessly on the cell can come at a price.

“They’re having the cell phone right up against the face and they may come in complaining of a skin rash,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

New research shows a growing number of people are having allergic reactions to cell phones because some are made with nickel.

About 17 percent of women have allergies to nickel, and about three percent of men.

Doctors suggest you use a bluetooth or a plastic cover on your phone.

Cell phones aren’t the only growing allergy problem.

“Skin allergies are on the rise, particularly cosmetics among other things and it’s important to get a simple investigation to find out if it affects you,” said Dr. Bassett.

If you have itchy or puffy eyes, experts say you may be allergic to your makeup and not even know it. Doctors say nearly 22 percent of everyone tested for allergies react to chemicals in cosmetics. Mostly the fragrances and preservatives are the culprits.

And for those with severe food allergies, like Paul Cossu, kissing his girlfriend after she eats foods he’s severely allergic to, like eggs, can be a problem.

“We can’t do anything right after that. I have to give her a peck on the cheek, but that’s about it,” said Paul.

He always thought that as long as his girlfriend brushed her teeth after eating eggs, he’d be okay.

But allergy experts now say brushing may not be enough. The allergen can stay in the mouth for hours afterward.

“I think it would be weird on a first date if you say you have to wait six hours before kissing me if you’ve eaten eggs,” said Paul.

Symptoms for the cell phone and cosmetic allergies include a red, bumpy, itchy rash.

For those who react after a kiss, signs of a problem include swelling of the lips or throat, a rash, and wheezing.

Doctors say sometimes it can take 24 hours after eating and brushing for the allergy triggers to disappear.

Reported By: Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3