Asian woman laughing while looking at phone on couch.

A cellphone is a nifty tool that makes life easier. You might have a hard imagining life these days without it. What’s even harder to imagine is this indispensable gadget stabbing you in the back. Are you noticing zits on the side of your face or dry, itchy skin on your hands? Your beloved phone might be the perpetrator.

How Dirty Is Your Phone?

You may remember your elementary school teacher telling you that your hands are the dirtiest . Well, think of what your hands touch the most. That’s right: your phone. Microbiologists from the University of Arizona determined that your phone could be 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. At least someone cleans the toilets regularly. When was the last time you wiped down your device?

A 2017 study in Germs also discovered over 17,000 bacterial gene copies living in phones. Some common bacteria and viruses found in mobile devices include Streptococcus, which can lead to inflammatory ailments; E.coli, which causes diarrhea, among other things; and MRSA, which causes skin infections or even pneumonia.

How Does Your Phone Affect Your Skin?

You may be aware of some of the consequences of mobile phone usage, such as as well as texting while driving. However, you might not automatically associate your skin issues with your cherished gadget. Here are some of the ways your phone wreaks havoc on your skin.

1. You might get an allergic reaction.

Did you develop a rash on your skin, particularly on a part that frequently comes into contact with your phone? You might be sensitive to nickel and cobalt. Based on a , these two substances, responsible for most cases of metal-induced contact dermatitis, featured regularly in early cellphone manufacturing. More modern phones have downgraded the use of these materials, but an extra sensitivity might still trigger a reaction.

2. You notice acne on a specific part of your face.

Remember all those germs in your phone? Each time you touch your device then scratch your chin or tuck a strand of hair away from your face is an introduction to the buffet of microbes currently thriving on your screen. Lots of bacteria lead to buildup, which leads to clogged pores, which .

3. You see sun damage.

Sun damage doesn’t always come from the sun. For instance, your blue light-emitting phone can do a number on your skin. According to the Journal of Biomedical & Physics Engineering, exposure to light from electronic devices can cause oxidative stress, which often shows up on your skin. It can cause redness, , and even some accidental tanning. Oxidative stress can also prompt , speaking of which…

4. You observe more signs of aging

Blue light isn’t all bad. It regulates your circadian rhythm, helping you get quality sleep. Too much, however, can . Blue light can keep you awake at night, resulting in skin woes caused by poor slumber. Apart from the , a lack of sleep slows down your , making you more prone to and more.

5. You have dry, itchy skin on your hands.

While most studies speak about the aftermath of phone use on your face, it’s important to know that these can also happen to the other parts of your skin, particularly your hands. The dry, may not be from a looming windfall but from a phone-prompted metal allergy.

Recently, researchers have also been studying “zombie” fingers or hands. The rubbing and swiping on your phone cause your digits to become , ironically reducing your ability to use your touchscreen. To avoid the effects of constant friction, use a good moisturizing handwash to keep your hands nourished and clean.

Make it a habit to sanitize your hands with Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Cucumber and Green Tea. It has a revitalizing essence and ¼ moisturizing cream that all while eliminating those damaging germs. You can also try Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Deeply Nourishing, which cleanses as much as it cares, softening your skin 10 layers deep.

If you’re sure the dry, itchy skin on your hands isn’t caused by your phone, make sure to check with a dermatologist to get to the root of the problem. In any case, don’t forget to clean your phone regularly! Your skin will thank you.