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Myth Busters

Can My Smartphone or Laptop Be Causing This Rash?

Posted on: February 7th, 2017 by Dr. Jennifer Herrmann

We’re addicted to modern technology and for good reason: it simplifies our lives! But, modern devices can cause skin problems in some. Follow these 4 simple steps and be both skin and tech-savvy!

  1. Cell Phones and Acne: Cells phones are life-lines, but they are anything but clean. We can’t help but touch everything, and bacteria from our hands ends up covering our phones. When we hold these devices to our ears and cheeks, this bacteria as well as make-up, oil, and dirt are rubbed into the skin. Over time, this can cause or worsen facial acne. To prevent this and keep skin healthy and clear, try wiping down your phone with an alcoholic wipe regularly. Or, use headphones or a blue tooth device to keep your dirty phone far away from your face.
  2. Cell Phone Case Allergy: Keeping your cell phone protected is a must, but cases made of certain plastics or metals can cause rashes in some people. If you notice a red itchy rash where you put your phone to your face, you may be reacting to part of your cellphone case. Many inexpensive metals contain metals and plastics contain additives and adhesives that can be potent allergens. To be safe, try to keep your phone case away from your face where skin is more sensitive.
  3. Plastic watches and fit bits: It’s great to track your heart rate and steps, but some wearable devices contain rubber additives that can cause allergies or irritations. This is more common when we sweat because moisture encourages these plastics to leach out allergens that can come in contact with your skin. We don’t want you to stop exercising, but watch out for these rashes and make an appointment with one of our doctors if you’re worried about your device!
  4. Laptops: We’ve all pulled our laptops out in bed, but did you know that they can cause a rash?! Balancing your notebook on your thighs delivers heat to the skin, which over time can cause a pattern of dilated reddish-brown blood vessels. To be safe, keep your laptop on a pillow rather than directly on your skin!

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