Cell phones found with more bacteria than toilet seat - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Cell phones found with more bacteria than toilet seat

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When you use your cell phone for calls, texts and the web, it pretty much goes everywhere you go.

"I take it into the bathroom. You know, if you're bored," admitted Simone Zucker. "Took it to breakfast right after."

Samantha Edwards said, "I use it on public transit and I touch the poles and I'm on my phone and then I eat a sandwich and I never think twice about the bacteria."

Some research shows that cell phone in your hand, on average, carries ten times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

"Yea, it's pretty disgusting," added Zucker.

It can make you sick and create skin problems.

Dr. Ted Lain, with Ted Lain Dermatology, said, "A lot of times it's going to be acne limited to one side of the face, or worse on one side of the face. So, we ask patients, do you talk on the cell phone a lot?"

Dr. Lain has been practicing dermatology for ten years.

"They pull out the cell phone and they put it onto their face and you can exactly see where the acne is," Dr. Lain added

It's not just acne though. Some recent research also found bacteria that causes strep and staph infections on cell phones.

Dr. Lain said, "There are lots of other bacterias that can cause infections in the skin and if we see that, we certainly talk about cell phone use."

"If I notice it's kind of smudged, then I'll use my shirt to wipe it off," said Edwards.

"I never do," Zucker said. "I probably hold all my friends' cell phones at some point,"

Edwards added, "Yea, me too and I know that some of our friends use their cell phones in the bathroom and I have definitely touched their phones."

"It's rare that a cell phone could transfer enough bacteria to cause an infection, but it certainly could occur. Especially in patients that have a low immune system already...guys that shave, you can get little cuts in your beard area and if you have your cell phone on that cut and it transfers bacteria, that increases your risk of infection," said Dr. Lain.

One way to reduce bacteria on your phone, without using chemicals, is with vinegar. Grab a soft towel, dab a little vinegar on it and you can wipe down your phone, but, doctors say the best way to keep your phone clean is to wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe every night.

Edwards added, "Or even like, once a week would probably be way better than what we're doing right now, which is nothing."

If you're not disciplined enough to wipe away the germs, a hands-free device can help too.

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