Do Cell Phones Cause Breakouts?

In this week’s Acne Mythbusters, we investigate this everyday habit that could be causing your breakouts.

Fact or Myth: Could your cell phone cause a breakout?


Dirty Cell Phones Breed Bacteria
Bacteria is one of the primary causes of acne. And be honest: you take your cell phone everywhere with you.

In a 2011 study, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found fecal matter on one out of every six smartphones. Additionally, a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba found cell phones carry 10 times the bacteria of most toilet seats. (Want to check our sources? See this article from USA Today.)

Not only do cell phones carry bacteria, but they also become a technological petri-dish. The heat from the cell phone creates an environment for bacteria to thrive.

Cell Phones Rub You the Wrong Way
Even if you have a pristine, clean cell phone, anything that repeatedly rubs your face can cause breakouts. (See our other post, Makeout Breakouts.) If you’re rubbing your phone against your cheek, the heat and sweat can trigger a breakout. The pressure encourages oil glands to secrete more oil and traps bacteria, dirt, and make-up in your pores.

4 #AcneSafe Cell Phone Tips

  1. Use a microphone
  2. Use the speakerphone
  3. Hold your cell phone away from your face
  4. Don’t pick your pimples

What is acne mechanica?
Acne mechanica is acne that is caused by skin friction, heat, pressure on the skin, or when skin isn’t exposed to the air. Sweaty, constantly rubbed skin can quickly break out in a bothersome rash that’s really acne. For further reading, check out these blog posts:

Makeout Breakouts: How Kissing & Touching Skin Causes Acne

Does Working Out Break You Out?

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