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Is Blue Light Harming Your Skin Health?
If you repeatedly hold your phone in the palm of your hand, the blue light it emits might cause damage to your skin. Electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, laptop displays, and televisions all produce blue light. There is a possibility that there is evidence that blue light waves of varying intensity might cause changes to your skin.
What are Blue Lights?
It's one of many hues seen in the range of visible light. The 7 colors of the VIBGYOR combine to create visible white light. The sun is the primary source of blue light. Blue light is also emitted by LED and fluorescent light bulbs. It can impact your skin with ultraviolet, or UV, rays, which have been linked to skin damage. We are all increasingly exposed to blue light due to the usage of smartphones and tablets, which has increased the trend of blue light blocking in skincare and wellness in general.
The average person uses digital media for more than 11 hours per day. The COVID-19 lockout increased the time spent in front of our devices, raising the possibility that this could hasten skin aging. The amount of blue light emitted by our laptops, tablets, and smartphones is relatively modest. We need to consider the impacts of prolonged, low-level exposure, though, as we find ourselves staring at our devices for more extended periods. However, if you've found that your screen time has increased due to recurring virtual happy hours, work-from-home Zoom sessions, or the release of the newest Netflix series, you may be concerned about the impact on your health.
Effect of Blue Light on Human Health
Eye strain is a common side effect of exposure to blue light, which may come from the sun or electronic gadgets. In addition, research has shown that the cornea and lens enable high-energy blue light with a wavelength ranging from 415 to 455 nm to enter the eye and reach the retina within the visible range. In addition to that, it has been linked to disorders such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and dry eye. Even the production of hormones might be influenced, leading to an imbalance that could reduce the quality of sleep one receives.
Effect of Blue Light on the Skin
Blue light has the potential to heal, but if it's misused, it might also cause damage to your skin. One study found that using a blue light device to treat people with mild to severe plaque psoriasis effectively reduced the severity of the condition. This helped minimize the redness for four weeks and decreased the patch size. There was no evidence of any adverse side effects being produced.
Moreover, it is effective in treating acne ranging from mild to severe. According to research findings, exposure to blue light for seven days significantly decreased the number of blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of acne.
Actinic keratosis is characterized by the development of scaly lumps anywhere on the exposed skin of the body, including the hands, face, lips, and ears. These may sometimes progress into cancer of the skin. The exposure of large skin sections to blue light has successfully healed these precancerous spots while having very few adverse side effects.
A component of photodynamic treatment includes blue light. It is a method of treating cancer that involves using specific wavelengths of light to activate a group of medicines known as photosensitizing agents. It can be just as successful for some malignancies as radiation and surgery. Moreover, photodynamic treatment has fewer adverse effects.
Dermatologists have solid proof that certain skin diseases, such as melasma, in which the skin is driven to create more pigment, are brought on by exposure to visible light. Reactive oxygen species are produced as blue light enters the skin, and this causes DNA damage. This damage results in inflammation, healthy collagen and elastin breakdown, and hyperpigmentation.
According to the findings of specific studies, exposure to blue light from electronic devices may alter the cells in your skin, leading to their death or shrinking. As a direct consequence of this, becoming older happens more rapidly. Even sixty-minute exposures may be enough to bring about these modifications.
Pigmentation is a potential side effect of receiving excessive blue light. According to the findings of one research, those with darker skin exposed to blue light had higher redness and pigment alterations.
The critical word here is "may," as our skin may worsen the more time we spend on smartphones. There is currently no accepted cutoff point for when prolonged screen usage begins to affect your skin. You cannot simply estimate this in hours because there is a huge variety of how much blue light you are exposed to depending on the screen device you are using and the settings you employ. Few thorough examinations have explored what occurs when we tell ourselves too much blue light from our devices.
According to anecdotal evidence, several dermatologists claim to have observed blue light-induced skin damage. Melasma is now frequently more on the sides of the face than on the center cheeks, where it had previously been most common, due to a new pattern of hyperpigmentation in certain patients brought on by holding a cell phone to their face.
Therefore, blue light can have various skin-related impacts, including direct adverse effects like hyperpigmentation and photoaging and complex indirect effects like modulating circadian rhythm. Uncertainty exists regarding the precise mechanism by which blue light impacts the circadian rhythm.
However, because of the increasing use of electronic devices and the resulting increased exposure to blue light, further research is needed, mainly because chronic exposure to blue light from artificial sources has the potential to affect melatonin signaling and have clinical repercussions. The lack of standardized techniques, including utilizing various blue light sources and measuring their biological effects, hinders progress in this sector. Several approaches are being investigated to counteract the harmful effects of blue light, but the most promising ones involve daytime defense and nighttime repair mechanisms.
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