Can Excessive Use Of Cell Phone Cause Skin Damage & Acne

3 min read

Ananya Bhattacharjee
Writer. Musician. Mother. Reading, music and travelling are all time favourites. Been into ‘writing’ from the last 10 years and have become an everlasting love since I started.

We are addicted to our smartphones, be it calls or checking out our latest Facebook and Instagram posts. From an endless scroll through the social media platforms regularly to constant messages on Whatsapp, one can be said to be 24×7 on the smartphone.

Though the smartphone has many benefits of providing us with instant connectivity with our loved ones and friends, don’t get surprised if one day you find a breakout of acne or dark spots on your skin!

Yes, the smartphone has adverse effects too on the skin, and this is cell phone skin damage!  If suddenly one day you have acne and blemishes across the face and you wonder ‘Can cellphone cause acne?’ Well, you can blame it on your smartphone! 

Every time a person uses the phone and brings it closer to the face to use it, it damages the skin. The person is exposing their delicate skin to harmful radiation and rays.

Though it is almost impossible to live without our smartphones, we can limit its use to the minimum, and it’s true that in this day and age we cannot function without our phones. 

Go through the article to know what does cell phone do to your skin

What are the effects of cell phone skin damage?

The cell phone or smartphone is the cause of many skin issues. Some of the cell phone skin damages are the following:


Can cell phone cause acne? Yes, it does!

This is the most common cell phone skin damage problem associated with the use of the smartphone. The phone is a hotbed of germs and dust, which leads to acne when you use the phone closer to the face.

Often when we use the phone closer, and it touches our skin, the phone screen accumulates all the makeup, moisture, sweat, or any product that is applied to the skin. 

Repeated use of the phone will lead to further accumulation of germs and the face contracting those germs and having breakouts and acne from mobile phones.

Also, if there is a significant amount of buildup on the phone, then it can clog the skin pores, preventing the formation of natural skin oils. This would eventually trigger acne.

To prevent this, one can clean the phone and the surface regularly at intervals with any water-based cleanser having a 40% alcohol solution to wipe the screen.

Another efficient provision is to use the earphone often while talking on the phone.  For people who already are acne-prone and experience frequent breakouts, they can regularly cleanse the skin with proper facial cleansers and products.


Contact breakout of acne and rashes on the skin due to germs will eventually lead to developing an allergic reaction to the phone. Many smartphones have nickel and chromium in their casings which causes an allergic reaction to the face called allergic contact dermatitis.

The best way to prevent this cell phone skin damage is to enclose the phone in a secured plastic case, a guard screen, or by covering it with a protector. One can also use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream which will help in relieving the allergic itch.

Wrinkles due to cell phone skin damages

Looking down constantly at the smartphone causes wrinkles in the area underneath the chin and the neck. This is called ‘tech neck’. Tech neck is the permanent wrinkles that appear on the chin and neck in addition to the sagging skin and drooping eyes. 

Squinting hard to read a small also causes crow’s feet around the eyes. Tech neck is most common in women over 50, though recently it is being noticed in women in their 30s too. 

The best way to prevent tech neck cell phone skin damage is to take a regular break from the smartphone. Also, avoid staring down at the phone for more extended periods, squinting while reading on the phone and walking and texting.

One can also use products that promote cell renewal, like retinoid, a light glycolic acid for chemical exfoliation, and sunscreen. 

There is no specific product that can prevent a tech neck, and it isn’t easy to reverse once it occurs. As such, it is essential to take precautions and be self-aware. 

wrinkles due to cell phone skin damage

Dark spots

The smartphone regularly heat-ups when used for more extended periods. If a person talks on the phone for longer hours, the phone heats up, which affects the skin.

As the skin on the face is in constant touch with the phone, the overheating causes dark spots on the face and can also make the melanin production of the skin go haywire.

Although the exposure to the blue light emitted from the smartphone screens doesn’t directly contribute to DNA damage, a recent study has revealed that an increase in the pigment production leads to premature age spots and hyperpigmentation. 

If a person already suffers from melasma, it is best to avoid talking on the phone for longer hours as the heat from the phone can aggravate the use and cause further uneven hyperpigmentation.

How to protect skin from blue light?

To prevent the dark spots and pigmentation caused by the blue light from phones, avoid talking on the phone for more extended periods. If you have to do so, use an earpiece, earphone or a loudspeaker. 

One can also apply a proper dose of antioxidant protection which would help to reverse the damage caused and brighten the skin. 

Products and serum with ingredients like vitamins C, E, and niacin are helpful in this case. One can also use prescribed doses of hydroquinone to restore lost skin brightness. A sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can also be applied to the face regularly for best results. 

Under-eye Circles

The LED/blue light of the phone screen can cause under-eye circles. Often, people use their phones before sleep. This habit not only disturbs the sleep cycle but also causes under-eye bands to form gradually.

To prevent the occurrence of this cell phone skin damages, switch off the smartphone half an hour before sleeping. If the phone is necessary to use before sleep, put it on silent, and reduce the brightness proportion as much as possible.

switch off the smartphone half an hour before sleeping

Though technology and its advancement with newer technological devices and smartphones have unlimited benefits, it has its dark side too, and more specifically in terms of cell phone skin damages, promoting premature skin aging. As such, it is primarily essential in today’s world to compensate for our skin and health with a proper skincare routine and a good diet.  

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