Emily Baines
September 25, 2016 11:33 am
Paramount

Well, it’s no secret that phones aren’t exactly fantastic for our health. For one thing, nearly 330,000 people are injured a year by texting and driving. “Tech neck” has become a concern (albeit not as serious as car accidents), and you can break out in acne thanks to uncleaned phone screens. So, yeah, phones are problematic.

Well, now to add to the list of potential issues, cell phones can also damage your skin. As Refinery 29 explains, “But the light your phone emits can also affect your skin. Letting there be light can lead to letting there be hyperpigmentation in the form of melasma.”

So what is melasma? It is basically the scientific word for brown or gray patches on the skin, and melasma can can be triggered by sun exposure and hormones (like birth control or pregnancy).

Those of us who tan more easily (holla) are predisposed to melasma, so we should really start to take this seriously. New research now indicates that it’s not just hormones or outdoor light that can cause Melasma. Indoor activities can also cause this skin condition to flare up.  Even light bulbs! And, yes, the screen on your phone and computer.

s dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, explained to Refinery 29:

Apparently, indoor light sources such as the light from our cell phones act “similar to the sun” in that they trigger the skin to produce excess pigment. She notes:

But don’t worry, it’s not time to destroy your cell phone… yet.

NBC / giphy.com

According to Dr. Gohara, physical blocking agents (such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) can block all kinds of light, But for those of you who are really concerned, you’re going to want to get your hands on iron oxide to fight this damage.  Luckily, iron oxides are often used as coloring agents in cosmetics. What you didn’t know is that iron oxide is also rust.

Well, we know what we’ll be picking up in the store today. And to think we thought we only had to worry about the light from the sun! Is no where safe?

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