Most people are familiar with the concept that the sun is one of the main sources of ultraviolet (UV) light. Of course, while there is some benefit to this type of light, mainly its involvement in the production of Vitamin D, there are harmful effects associated with too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays. What many people may not realize is that in addition to the sun, devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. also emit a certain type of light called high energy visible light (HEV), or blue light. There are some studies that suggest that just as with UV light, the blue light that emanates from the sun and technology devices, may have both beneficial and detrimental effects on human skin.
What is HEV?
HEV or blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. While the sun is the main source of these light wavelengths, digital screens also emit this type of light. There is some evidence to suggest that blue light penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays because of its lower energy levels and longer wavelength. Due to this deeper penetration, there is concern that blue light could introduce cellular dysfunction and/or DNA damage to skin cells. In turn, these adverse events could be a factor in inflammatory skin conditions and photoaging.
Initially, all this evidence may lead one to conclude that all blue light is harmful to human health. However, short-term use of blue light can also be effective in treating certain skin conditions such as mild to moderate acne, plaque psoriasis, and actinic keratosis.
As with most things, moderation in the use of digital screens may be the key to finding the right balance for those who do spend a lot of time in the sun and who are also concerned about the effects that digital screen light rays may have on their skin. Sunscreens, especially those containing iron oxides, not only work to reduce the sun’s UV rays, they also protect against light wavelengths emitting from the visible light spectrum.
If you want to know more about protecting your skin by incorporating anti-aging strategies into your daily skin care regimen, please contact my office for an appointment.Previous Post Next Post