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Rebecca Phone Bags & Cases/AliExpress | Remix by Jason Reed

Mom says this glittery iPhone case gave her daughter horrific burns and a permanent scar

Don't let the unicorns and rainbows fool you.


Jam Kotenko


Posted on Jan 19, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 8:36 am CDT

The next time you decide to buy a cutesy smartphone case with a fancy, glittery liquid floating around in it like a lava lamp or snow globe, imagine this: that colorful ooze could potentially scar your skin and leave you with damage burns.

Nine year old Olivia Retter had no idea her new unicorn-and-rainbow case for her iPhone 5c had the potential to leave a permanent and unsightly mark on her body when she and her mother, Karly Retter, bought it from New Look—a store in Cambridge, U.K.—for $9.

In a Facebook post that reportedly went viral but has since been deleted, Karly Retter explained that her daughter isn’t allowed access to her phone during bed time, but she snuck it into her bedroom anyway, eventually falling asleep on top of it. She woke up in the middle of the night complaining of leg pain, but her mom sent her back to bed.

“Then in the morning I saw this awful burn on her leg – I was so shocked a phone case could do that. Doctors have said it is a severe chemical burn and she will be scarred for life. I can’t believe it – she will have a scar in the shape of a phone on her leg,” her original post allegedly stated.

Karly Retter/Facebook

The offending case showed no visible cracks where the toxic liquid could have escaped from, so the mother of three did her due diligence and contacted New Look’s customer service to report the incident. The company released a statement confirming the removal of the case from all their shelves.

Smartphones in general often have a habit of getting nice and toasty when they’re kept in tight quarters, and when you combine that heat with a glittery gel in a plastic case, it’s easy to see how trouble could arise. 

A word of warning to phone case aficionados: opt for a more functional design; if you must prioritize aesthetics, rule out products that contain substances that may leave you with a permanent iPhone-shaped tattoo.

H/T Telegraph | Photo via Rebecca Phone Bags & Cases/AliExpress | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Jan 19, 2016, 1:30 pm CST