We’re on our cell phones all the time—walking to work, out shopping, sitting on the couch at home. For most of us, this means that we’re routinely holding our phones against our faces for hours at a time, depending on how garrulous we are. We’re all familiar with rumors that cell phones could cause brain tumors and other health conditions due to the radiation the devices emit, since we hold them closely to our bodies. However, it is uncertain whether claims of negative radiation effects are true, based on conflicting studies. It is undeniable, however, that cell phones can affect your skin. Holding a cell phone against your face can cause annoying skin conditions, such as acne breakouts, rashes, and, in rare cases, infection.
Our cell phones are havens for bacteria and oils. Honestly, when was the last time you disinfected your cell phone, or even washed your hands before using it? Because oils and dirt can build up on our phones, when we hold the devices to our faces for long periods of time, our pores can clog up. The dirt, combined with friction between the phone and the face, helps create an environment where zits thrive. Yes, cell phones can cause acne breakouts. The good news is, there are numerous skin rejuvenation options out there these days, so the long term effects here on minimal.
In addition to acne, cell phones can cause skin rashes. In fact, “cell phone rashes” have been on the rise among those allergic to nickel, a metal used frequently in cell phones. Nickel allergies are fairly commonplace, which is why many earrings and other pieces of jewelry are marked as “nickel-free.” These individuals are more likely to develop “cell phone rash” along the jaw, cheek, or ear, due to prolonged exposure to nickel via cell phone usage. The rash is red, bumpy, and itchy, and in extreme cases can lead to blisters. Nickel is most often used in cell phone buttons, and those with extreme nickel allergy, who frequently text or otherwise use the buttons on their phones, my even develop a rash on their fingertips.
Finally, it is possible to get a skin infection from your cell phone, if you have any cuts or open sores on your face. Countless studies have shown that cell phones collect much bacteria, because we carry them with us everywhere, and use them anytime, typically without thinking about whether our hands are clean or not. Because cell phones accumulate so much bacteria, and we rarely disinfect them, the bacteria can infect a cut or open sore. Bacterial infections of the skin from cell phone use, luckily, are uncommon.
If you’re interested in protecting your skin from the harmful effects of cell phone usage, there are several actions you can take. Using a Bluetooth or similar device eliminates the need to hold the phone to your face, and can eliminate the above issues. If you don’t have a hands-free device, you should get into the habit of disinfecting your phone regularly with disinfectant wipes. For those with nickel allergies, it is wise to look for a phone that uses a touchscreen, rather than metal buttons. However, you may still be sensitive to nickel used inside the phone.
To learn more about protecting your skin on a daily basis, or to schedule a free consultation with a skin care specialist in your town, feel free to contact us at SignatureForum today!
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