- Dr. Sravya Tipirneni -
The need and dependency on mobile phones for social media presence, communication or many other usages can neither be ignored nor reduced. It has almost become impossible in the present scenario to imagine a life without smart phones. From the tiny hands of a little infant to the wrinkled hands of an elderly person, from a labourer to a business magnate, everyone can today be seen with cell phones talking, scrolling, reading, clicking, watching or listening music, etc.
The addiction with phones and the various harmful effects that it has on a person’s mind, body and health are well being noticed. However, the least known but significantly serious effects that the cell phone usage can have on a person’s skin are neither well noticed nor well adhered to.
The excessive use of mobile phones has exposed the population to harmful radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted from mobile phones. The constant and continued exposure in the past years has increased the risk of lesser-known skin problems among other harmful effects on the body. The radiations from the phone are an electromagnetic ray in the microwave range (850-1800), much of which is received by the skin. While the degree of damage is directly proportional to the duration of radiation exposure, the negative effect is not nil.
Doctors have also drawn similarities between skin damage due to the exposure to sun and the exposure to magnetic waves from cell phones, often causing wrinkles. Dermatologists highlight that regular subjection to the light and electromagnetic radiation from phones damages skin and escalates aging. Studies have also found that the blue light from the phones which is also referred to as the high energy visible light also has severe effects on the skin. While it seems inevitable to stay away from mobile phones, health experts stress to make minimum use of it for not just better health but also, better skin.
These radiations lead to morphological changes, increase skin’s fibroblast activity, create exocytosis in skin cells and even increase some risk of carcinogenicity.
Some of the prominent effects that cell phone radiations can have on the skin are:
Dermatitis: Dermatitis is an umbrella term to describe skin inflammation. This problem usually makes your skin red and itchy and can occur in different forms due to various causes. Sometimes there can also be swollen rashes, blisters, oozes or flake offs. Cell phone radiations accelerate antigens even further in those suffering from allergies. The use of nickel and cobalt in the phone trimmings can also cause skin dermatitis combined with radiations. Abundant sweating also makes way for a predisposing condition and eases nickel penetration.
Crow’s feet: Crow’s feet refer to a branching sort of a wrinkle that usually forms at the outer corner of a person’s eye. These lines mostly diverge from a point in a bird footprint design, giving it the name. Prolonged gazing at the mobile screen and continuous staring down can lead to the formation of wrinkles around eyes and neck. The smaller font size and the reduced brightness, further aggravate the problem.
Wrinkled Neck: Staring down continuously over a long duration of time can cause wrinkles on the neck, which is among the initial signs of ageing. The persistent ad regular gazing gradually damages the collagen in the neck. This further causes neck wrinkles.
Dark Circles: This is one of the most known, most observed skin impacts. The blue light coming out of the cell phones impacts one’s sleeping patterns. The lesser a person sleeps, the more are the possibilities of eye bags and dark circles under the eye.
Skin allergies and acne: Yes! You read it right. Studies have discovered that mobile phones are major carriers of bacteria and germs. Experts even call mobiles more unhygienic than a public toilet. The phones are exposed to innumerable surfaces through the day which transfers the tiny germs and we keep using our phone same way, never realising, how many germs are we giving access to our body., resulting in allergies and acne on the skin.
The most basic way to avoid these skin problems is quite simple, make as minimum use of mobile phones as possible. Following are some more pointers to help you keep your skin safe from the harmful effects of mobile phone radiations:
Do not gaze at your phone screens for a very long time constantly.
Avoid using mobile phones before bedtime.
Clean your mobile phones regularly throughout the day. Sanitizers/ alcohol swabs are used.
Do not use the phone when it is overheated. As this overexposure reduces skin’s melanin production, giving you uneven skin tone and even dark spots.
Be aware of skin issues relating to the dominant side of your face which is in contact with the phone.
Ask your Dermatologist for more suggestions!
About the Author
Dr. Sravya Tipirneni
Author & Consultant
Dr. Sravya Tipirneni, Consultant - Dermatologist & Cosmetologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni is a highly qualified Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist at Columbia Asia Hospital in Whitefield. She completed her MBBS from Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences & Research in 2010 as one of the top ten graduates of her class and then went to Chicago,USA to complete Clinical Clerkship at a Heart Transplant Center, Pre and Post Heart Transplant Care specializing in LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) in 2011. She was the college topper in MD - Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy, in 2015
Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.