Peathegee Inc/Blend Images
Samantha Callender
May, 02, 2018

Cell phones have become a part of our daily lives. Checking emails and posting on social media keeps most of us on the phone for a lot of the day. Whether it’s at the desk, while we eat, or even in the bathroom we expose our phone surfaces to millions of bacteria, germs, and viruses daily. This exposure often manifests itself on our skin through breakouts and even rashes.

If you’re constantly battling facial acne or rashes and unsure of where they’re from, it could be your cell phone. ESSENCE spoke to a few noted dermatologists for insight into the different ways cell phone usage irritates skin and how to address them.

Reason 1: Your Skin And Cell Phone Materials Don't Mix

If you’re the type who's on the phone constantly, especially if you hold the phone to your ear, this may definitely cause skin irritation. Dr. Lian Mack, also known as Glam Derm, says some cell phone brands are made of metals like nickel and chromium — both of which can cause a rash.

“These materials may cause an allergic reaction once they contact the dermis which usually manifests itself as an itchy, red rash,” says Dr. Mack. 

Reason 2: Your Phone Is The Home of Bacteria

Millions of bacteria already call our face home. Dr. Mack says the bacteria commonly found on the skin fall into four major types: Propionibacterium acnes, Corynebacterium, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus. While these bacteria are harmless in nature, our phones are also carriers of bacteria. 

Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer explains that the true culprit of irritation and acne is cell phone bacteria. “Some bacteria is supposed to be there, it’s just when you have an inflammatory skin disease you have an overgrowth of it,” she says. 

If you’re looking for some solutions to deep cleaning pores and ridding the skin of harmful bacteria Dr. Mack and Dr. Lancer have a few recommendations.

Solution 1: Get An Extraction

"I recommend extractions routinely. In my office, we perform medical facials. We apply a detox gel, steam and then gently extract all of the oil from the pores,” says Dr. Mack. If you’re looking for an at-home treatment, she recommends exfoliating chemically and mechanically. “An oldie but goodie are Biore's Deep Pore Cleansing Strips because they lift away impurities,” she says. 

Solution 2: Maintain A Daily Facial Skin Care Regimen

Having a routine that's established is essential to keeping skin fresh and making sure you get rid of harmful bacteria daily. “It’s important to have a programmed skincare routine established,” recommends Dr. Lancer.

She suggests exfoliating first, followed by cleansing and nourishing. "It’s also important to have a vitamin c, glycolic and retinol product,” says Dr. Lancer. She also reminds to extend your facial care regimen to your neck, since people usually skip this important step. 

While there's absolutely no way we'd ever completely give-up our phones both doctors suggest to wipe down your device with a sanitizing wipe to decrease your chances of exposing the skin to harsh bacteria. 

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