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posted: 10/28/2013 6:00 AM

Your health: Cellphones may leave germs on your face

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  • Germs from your cellphone and your hands can lead to unsightly breakouts on your face.

    Germs from your cellphone and your hands can lead to unsightly breakouts on your face.


Dirty talk

Sometimes it may seem like cellphones are more like an extension of our hands going everywhere and anywhere and that means some nasty little organisms may be hitchhiking from your cellphone directly to your face, says ABC News.

To find out what is lurking on that surface a cellphone was swabbed in a lab, then they were incubated for three days at 37 degrees Celsius, which is roughly body temperature, to see what would grow. Streptococcus, micrococcus and two colonies of beard and staphylococcus. Streptococcus is strep throat and staphylococcus is a staph infection.

Clinical Laboratory Sciences student Joel Bracey says, "This is normal bacteria that you're going to find everywhere. This stuff is not harmful so people don't need to be afraid of their cellphones just because I found staph on there."

Dermatologist Dr. Laci Theunissen wasn't surprised by the findings but she added a few extra questions about cellphones when examining patients.

"One consideration when a patient comes into the treatment of acne, especially if it is along the jaw line, is to ask them -- hey, which side do you talk on your cellphone? Do you talk on your cellphone often? Do you use a headset or an ear piece," says Theunissen.

Turns out constant pressure and contact of the cellphone along with the bacteria found on the surface of phones can aggravate the skin and add to acne break outs.

Sugar shakedown

Watching the sugar in your diet can help you control your weight and potentially avoid serious chronic health problems, for example, heart disease and diabetes, according to Harvard Medical School. Step one is to read labels carefully and opt for products that are lower in sugar. For many people, cutting back on sugar-sweetened beverages is an easy way to reduce sugar intake. Giving up juices and soft drinks can be tough, but here are few ways to get started:

• Make your own. Start with plain sparkling water or tap water. Add a flavoring. Here are a few options: an ounce or two of 100 percent fruit juice; a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit; a sprig of fresh mint; a few raspberries.

• No frills coffee and tea. A small dash of sugar or artificial sweetener and milk is OK, but go easy on extras like flavored syrups and whipped cream.

• Transition to "diet" beverages. Sugar-free sodas and other soft drinks can help you transition away from sugar-sweetened beverages.

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