As if RIM wasn't already having enough trouble struggling for relevance with BlackBerry phones, there's yet another thing about the handsets that makes them a bit less appealing compared to iPhones and Android devices: you could actually be allergic to a BlackBerry, in the most literal sense.

According to a recent study, around one third of all BlackBerries contain nickel, a metal that causes allergic reactions in 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men. As if that wasn't bad enough, many of these phones also contain cobalt, yet another contact allergen. If you're allergic, symptoms can include eczema, blisters, lesions, swelling, and in extreme cases, using a BlackBerry can literally be a scarring experience. iPhones and Android phones, on the other hand, were found to be free and clear.

While many BlackBerries old and new have the offending metals, flip-phone models are by far the worst offenders, containing nickel a whopping 91 percent of the time. That's a pretty huge margin, but the fact that this hasn't been a huge issue yet probably means BlackBerries aren't out there ruining lives left and right. Still, if you've got a nickel allergy—or have been suffering from itchy, BlackBerry-face—it's just another reason to write off the suffering brand. That, and fantastic fodder for Blackberry jokes. [Eureka via PopSci]