Did you know that your cell-phone could age you faster? Every time you talk or text on your cell phone, you’re putting your skin at risk. Dr. Sneh Thadani explains how…
MOBILE phones have revolutionized communications. Cell phones are a common mode of communication today. Besides communication, mobile phones are used for several other purposes. One can connect to the Internet also through the phone today. One can read books, chat with near and dear ones, watch movies, listen to music, send and receive data and browse through topics of one’s choice.
However, it has its flip side too. Every time you talk or text on your cell phone, you’re putting your skin at risk.
In a culture where selfies are a daily occurrence, it’s inevitable that you use your cell phone multiple times a day. But did you know that acne, wrinkles, and dark spots are just a few of the negative side effects from constantly interacting with wireless phones.
This is a new ailment that has started amongst phone addicts. Cell phones are available in several fashionable models. They have a metallic sheen to increase their aesthetic value. Such phones are more likely to contain allergens like nickel, chromium and cobalt.
If case studies are to be considered, the most common allergen associated with cell phone dermatitis is nickel, which is responsible for causing an allergic reaction in up to 28 per cent of adults. Other agents like electromagnetic radiations can also trigger allergic reactions in a few cases.
Symptoms of cell phone allergy
Cell phone dermatitis initially starts with skin irritation. It mainly involves the cheek and ear (preauricular area), but depending on the habit of its usage, rashes could also develop on thighs (because of keeping phones in the pocket). An itchy rash that develops on the cheek and on the ears may indicate a typical nickel or chromium allergy. The duration of contact with the allergen is responsible for the severity of the allergic reaction. Prolonged contact can also lead to darkening of skin (hyperpigmentation) and scarring.
Wrinkles and Under eye problems
Constantly staring down at your cell keyboard for long periods of time can cause “techneck,” or wrinkles underneath the chin and around the neck. Squinting at the too-small text can also cause crow’s-feet around the eyes.
Constantly looking down onto your phone screens causes constant and gradual breakdown of collagen in your neck area giving it a crinkled appearance, causing pre mature wrinkles.
Crows feet, also knows as wrinkles and fine line around your eye, constant screen viewing in the night in dark causes excessive stress around your eye area giving rise to wrinkles and fine line around your eyes.
The LED light from your mobile phone can affect the way you sleep. The blue glow emanating from computer, cell, and tablet screens can throw off your internal sleep rhythm, meaning it’s harder to fall asleep and you spend less time in REM sleep. Causing under eye dark circles and pre mature aging.
Have you noticed how hot your cell phone gets after a long hearty conversation The excess heat causes increase in the melanin content in your skin causes those silent dark spots and pigmentations.
Did you know that your mobile phone carries more bacteria than the toilet seat handle? (Gross!) Just think about all that makeup and sweat that ends up on your screen after a lengthy conversation. That dirt can accumulate and cause breakouts on your skin.History taking in acne patients gives a clue as to which side they hold their phone, causing itchy pus filled acne on that cheek area.
If you have sensitive skin, enclose your phone in a plastic case and cover your screen with a clear protector to prevent irritation on your face and fingers. There are many different ways you can clean your cell phone. You can whip up a water-based solution with 40 percent alcohol or use any monitor wipe.
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Dr. Sneh Thadani
MBBS DNB DERMATOLOGY
Head of Dermatology Department, SSD Hospital