If one side of your face is dry and itchy, consider your cell phone as a likely culprit. Allergists report that contact allergies to nickel are common - they affect up to 17 percent of women and three percent of men - and there's nickel in many cell phones. The allergy symptoms also include redness, swelling, eczema, blistering, skin lesions and, sometimes, oozing and scarring. The best treatment is avoiding contact with nickel. That may require covering your phone with plastic, using a wireless earpiece or switching to a phone that has no metal on the part that touches the face. Cell phones aren't the only source of nickel that can come in contact with your face. The metal is commonly found in jewelry, watches, eyeglass frames and body piercings. You can also transfer nickel to your face with your hands after touching keys, coins or paper clips. Nickel allergies were the focus of a recent presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Phoenix in November, 2010.
More on cell phone safety.