Bid those blues goodbye, says doctors

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD: If your phone is the first and last thing you wake up and sleep to, then all those hacks you’re watching on them are doing more harm to you than good!

Doctors share how blue light is bad for your skin, and eyes, more than you think it is. Blue light is the light emitted from the sun as well as from your laptop, television screens and smartphones and is more intense with high-energy and shorter wavelengths.

The pandemic has led to dangerous habits that see the average person spend up to 19 hours daily, picking up their phones first thing in the morning before rolling out of bed and watching YouTube shorts, Instagram reels, TikTok videos, and other OTT content as the last thing they do at night before they sleep.

“The chief culprits are unclean mobile phones (a report revealed that your smartphone is actually 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat), loss of sleep time which hampers skin repair, blue light or high energy visible (HEV) rays, and tech neck wrinkles, loss of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and hydration, etc,” shares Dr Priti Shukla, plastic surgeon and founder of Ambrosia Clinic, Banjara Hills.

“For emphasis, wrinkles and sagging are conditioned to be wary of. HEV light or blue light, as it is widely known, is emitted from electronic devices such as your smartphone. This ray can release free radicals, trigger oxidative stress, and break down collagen supply. This is why you may begin to see premature wrinkles, sagging, and age spots, especially around your eyes, chin, and neck areas'” she added.

“There’s also the growing concern of mobile-phone dermatitis, which is caused by placing your smartphone against your skin. It appears as skin inflammation and can result in blistering, itching, redness, or swelling around the ears, jaws, cheekbones, or even hands. Most mobile phone casings have metals like chromium and nickel which are the major causes of this condition,” she further added.

But here’s the good news, these damages can be reversed and are preventable too.

“To protect skin from blue light, you may apply any antioxidant serum such as vitamin C or vitamin E or a combination of vitamin C, E and ferulic acid. Top it with sunscreen. You must opt for sunscreens that have iron oxide, vitamin C or cocoa or any antioxidants in them, that protect your skin from blue light. Of course, in smartphones and laptops, you do have a filter that you can use for protection from blue light,” says Dr Swapna Priya, consultant dermatologist at Care Hospitals, Banjara Hills.

“You can also take oral antioxidant supplements such as superoxide dismutase, vitamin A, C, E and beta carotene supplements. A quick and easy tip can also be to reduce the brightness of your screens and switch to ‘night mode’ which disables blue light. Use a blue-light shield on the screens. Try opting for skincare products that are capable of protecting or reversing blue light damage,” she adds.

She further adds that foods rich in antioxidants must be consumed: “Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals in the skin, so gorge on avocados, tomatoes, and walnuts that help reduce ageing and pigmentation. Also, use an SPF cream indoors as well.”

Dr Satyanarayana Murthy Komakula, the senior consultant dermatologist at Apollo Clinic, A S Rao Nagar, advises, “A sure shot way to prevent such light from affecting us is to use UV filtering blockers on laptops and mobile phones. We can also use sunscreen which contains zinc oxide or iron oxide which will prevent the bombardment of the blue light on our skin. While taking calls, one could use Bluetooth headphones.”

Screen guard
Wash your face regularly at home
Apply sunscreen indoors
Consume anti-oxidant rich foods
Use an undereye gel
 Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday
 Use a serum with hyaluronic acid, especially profhilo
Clean your mobile regularly
Avoid contact with skin
Wear anti-blue ray glasses

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