PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Just about everyone has a cellphone and most of us are constantly on them.
Have you ever thought about just how dirty your phone is?
They’re kind of gross if you think about it. As it turns out, our phones could be causing major skin issues.
“I don’t really know how many hours per day, but I would say I am constantly on my phone talking to people,” Brian Tomlinson said.
That’s what gave Tomlinson a severe case of acne.
“I was actually pretty surprised you know, as much as you use your phone you never really think about it doing something like that to your face, but absolutely, it definitely makes sense that it would,” he said.
Most phones are covered with all sorts of stuff – sweat, make-up, anything on your hands, and germs from all the places where you put your phone.
In fact, one study found cell phones are contaminated with more bacteria than a toilet.
“They’re more dangerous than you think. Staph and strep are the two most common. So those bacteria…you know maybe people have heard of MRSA and they get scared about that,” dermatologist Dr. Christine Stanko said.
Dr. Stanko says germs on cell phones are linked to a number of skin problems.
“When someone talks on their cellphones, it’s occluding their face, all that bacteria is getting onto their skin surface,” Dr. Stanko said.
It’s that kind of bacteria that’s the primary cause of acne, which can strike at any age, but can be especially difficult for younger people.
“You know, other people see the acne all over your face and even though, you know nobody is calling you out, you know it’s there so absolutely I would say it’s a self-esteem thing,” Tomlinson said.
There is another skin issue related to cell phones as well. Some people are allergic to nickel, which is used to make cell phones.
That causes something called cell phone rash and that’s not all.
“The bacteria can also get into the pores and the follicles and cause something we call folliculitis, that creates things like white heads,” Dr. Stanko said.
Most of the skin issues related to cell phones can be resolved with topical treatments.
As for your phone, dermatologists say you should clean it with an antibacterial wipe, at least once a day.