Rash decision over cell phone rash

I get e-mail pitches from PR people all the time, but Monday I got one that I’ll put in my Now-I’ve-Heard-It-All file. It comes from a PR Guy, who is, apparently, working for Jabra , which makes wireless, hands-free headsets for cell phones.

The fellow (hereafter referred to as “PR Guy” or “PR Genius”) started his note out with this grabby lede: “So we all know that cell phones harbor more bacteria than a toilet — but nickel may be the real culprit, leading to “mobile phone dermatitis.”

PR Guy, you had me at “bacteria.”

Then he dropped some real science on me: “The British Association of Dermatologists issued a warning to doctors last week regarding skin allergies caused by too much contact with mobile phones.”

Of course I wanted to see graphic images of this terrible affliction. But, turns out, “cell phone dermatitis” is so prevalent that a Google image search came up with a big ZERO.

Undeterred by that detail, PR Guy continued: “How common is nickel in cell phones? Several universities found that 10 out of 22 devices have it!” (I just love that statistic. Not “5 out of 11”, or “almost half” but “10 out of 22.” It probably means they surveyed 22 devices total.)

The gist of his note is that because the threat of getting “cell phone dermatitis” on the side of your face as a result of using your bacteria-laden toilet of a cell phone you had better pick up one of the new (nickel-free?) Jabra Bluetooth headsets, and keep your handset far away from your pretty face (PR Guy includes product shots and prices). Do it for the sake of good health and hygiene, if not for the ultra-stylish look of the Jabra headset itself, the note suggests.

I’d never heard the term “cell phone dermatitis” until Monday, and I’ve sure never heard of anybody getting a rash on the face from their cell phone. But I guess if you’re a PR Guy in today’s economy, you’ve got to take lemons and make lemonade.

Uh-oh, I just thought of something, PR Guy. If I have your Jabber, er, uh, Jabra, headset in my ear hole all day long, doesn’t that put me at serious risk of contracting Hands-free, Bluetooth Inner Ear Vestibular Disorder with Vertigo? Horror.

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