Skin Broken Out? It Could Be Your Cell Phone Plan
This may sound a little crazy. But if your face has been breaking out lately, it could be your cell phone plan.
You may know that sensitivities are growing more common. More children have breathing problems than ever before… more people are reacting to foods… there are even extreme cases of people reacting to almost everything containing man-made chemicals.
So what does this have to do with your cell phone plan? Maybe a lot.
You see, unlimited calling plans are becoming more and more common. And with more minutes available, people are using their cell phones more than ever before. Cell phone bodies are mostly plastic – mostly. But many have metal trim… and that metal may contain nickel.
Many people break out from contact with nickel. That’s often why cheap watches may cause itchy red patches on your wrist. And now – with a cell phone touching your face so much – why you may be breaking out.
According to a recent report by Dr. Luz Fonacier, doctors are also seeing more bad reactions body piercings. Inexpensive body jewelry often contains fairly high levels of nickel.
Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to fix. Putting a “skin” on your cell phone will minimize skin contact with nickel. That should clear up the problem for most people. If you’re one of the many people with itchy, red, or dry and flaky skin around a body piercing, hypoallergenic body jewelry may provide relief.
But these aren’t the only hidden sensitivity problems you may encounter.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, you’re exposed to an average of 168 chemicals daily – just from personal care products.1 And many of those chemicals are known to cause skin irritation and other reactions.
One class of products that seems to be a particular problem is sunscreens. Our fear of overexposure to the sun has driven sales through the roof. And skin reactions have followed suit.
Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have found that some sunscreen ingredients actually break down in sunlight – and these modified chemicals are absorbed through your skin.2
Among the most common breakdown products of sunscreens are chemicals called “arylglyoxales.” Many people are very sensitive to these chemicals – and their skin reacts.
If your skin is red, swollen, itchy, sore or tender after using sunscreen, arylglyoxales may be the reason. Avoiding sunscreens that contain dibenzoylmethanes – the source of arylglyoxales – may help.
As frustrating as these issues are, there’s one that’s even worse. A growing number of people seem to be developing sensitivities to other people.
Some couples have found that intimacy has become a trial – because one partner breaks out after contact with the other. They may develop swollen lips, wheezing, itchiness or other signs of sensitivity – even after just kissing and cuddling.
What’s going on here? Most often, it turns out; it’s not sensitivity to the other person after all.
Chances are good this is actually a sensitivity to a food or medication your partner has had contact with, according to research by Dr. Sami Bahna.3
If you avoid a food our partner is sensitive to for 16 – 24 hours before intimate contact, you can probably get rid of the problem. (Dr. Bahna found that brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth won’t help.) If the issue is with a medication, talk to your doctor.
Sensitivities are becoming more common. But there’s often a simple explanation – and a simple solution – to the challenges they present. As I learn more about this growing problem, I’ll keep you informed.
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
1 See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101119204521.htm.
2 See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101010183700.htm.
3 See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101119204544.htm