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Scrolling social media at night? Here’s how the screen is causing skin problems


With the advent of technology and especially with the COVID pandemic which made us confined to our homes and glued to the screens for information, the usage of mobile phones has significantly increased in the last two years. But it also brought with itself a lot of negative impacts. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Sonali Gupta, Sr. Consultant & HOD, Dermatology and Cosmetology, Accord Super Speciality Hospital, Faridabad said, “There is sense of stress as you have to make up for the time you have wasted surfing social media sites. Your body clock – which is so vital for keeping glow on the face gets disturbed – this further upsets the whole system inside. The body organs get slowly damaged and most visible impact of this is on our skin. It turns pale, dry.”

Dr Sonali Gupta further noted down the skin problems caused by over exposure to screens, especially at night:

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Dryness, Dermatitis: Long usage of cell phones especially at night leads to too much of exposure to radiation especially blue light which can harm skin in many ways – dryness, dermatitis, pigmentation, dullness and finally wrinkles and premature aging.

Redness, itching: Holding the mobile close to the body can cause redness, itching, swelling on the skin because of the light it emanates and presence of skin damaging metals which most of the mobiles are made of.

Acne: Cell phones are hot bed of germs and dust that can cause acne problem.

Spots on skin: Prolong use of mobile phones makes them heat up which can impact the normal melanin production of the skin which can lead to spots on the skin.

Adding to the same, Dr Mahima Aggarwal, Consultant Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh noted down a few skin problems caused by scrolling mobile at night:

Damaging effects: Exposure to blue light which is also referred to as high energy visible light at night time through excessive exposure to these devices has several biological effects. It is known to disturb the circadian rhythm causing sleep disturbances and also has damaging effects on the eye.

Sleep disturbances: Disturbed sleep due to disturbance in the circadian rhythm in turn also has unfavourable outcomes on the skin. In vivo studies using smartphone exposure at night have demonstrated a significant reduction in skin moisture content and increased oiliness. It is believed to cause dryness and loss of skin gloss and elasticity.

Usage of filters: It is imperative that unnecessary nighttime scrolling through phones, tablets or monitor screens should be minimised. There are also filters which can be attached to limit the amount of blue light being emitted.

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