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Screen Dermatitis: Screen Time Effect on Skin and Hair

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It is vital to maintain healthy screen time habits. Excessive screen time indirectly makes the skin dull a liter and hair fall more than usual.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At January 22, 2024
Reviewed AtJanuary 22, 2024

Introduction:

Excessive screen time can result in various physical, mental, and social problems. Prolonged screen time could primarily cause digital eye strain. People spending too much time on laptops and mobile devices, particularly before bedtime, often encounter sleep disturbances.

Sitting for prolonged periods while using screens could result in a sedentary lifestyle, which has been associated with several health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and posture-related conditions. Excessive screen time is known to show a baleful effect on mental health, contributing to anxiety, stress, depression, and feelings of isolation.

Sitting a day in front of the screens could reduce productivity and increase intrusions, especially for people who spend much time on social media and online entertainment. Consistent screen notifications and multitasking could reduce attention spans, so people need help concentrating on their daily functioning.

What Is Screen Dermatitis?

Skin dermatitis is also referred to as screen-induced dermatitis or digital dermatitis. This usually refers to a skin condition manifested as rashes or irritation from prolonged exposure to electronic screens, including tablets, computers, and smartphones. This condition is chiefly due to attributes like blue light exposure, closer proximity of the screen to the facial skin, and the potential for the screen to lodge bacteria.

What Are the Adverse Effects of Screen Time on Skin?

Prolonged or excessive screen time can indirectly influence skin health through various factors.

The common attributes are discussed below.

  • Blue Light Exposure: The blue light from electronic devices is noxious to the eyes, inducing vision problems and eye pain. This blue light is known to penetrate the skin into deeper layers than the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Certain clinical studies address that intense degrees of blue light exposure might lead to skin damage. The potential skin damage caused by blue light is hyperpigmentation (increased pigmentation) and premature aging. Nevertheless, qualitative research is required to determine the definitive connection.

  • Poor Sleep Quality: People have disturbed or poor sleep quality when they engage in screen time for prolonged periods, particularly close to sleep time. It is well known that inadequate or poor sleep quality contributes to various skin concerns, including dark circles, dryness, dimness, and an arbitrated skin barrier.

  • Stress: Excessive screen time can contribute to stress and anxiety, especially those handling social media. Chronic stress is considered a significant attributable factor for many physical and mental health problems. Chronic stress can precipitate or worsen several skin conditions, including eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

  • Less Physical Performance: Individuals spending more time on the screen often gives way to passive and desk-bound lifestyles. This considerably reduces physical activity. Lack of exercise or less physical performance could adversely impact skin health. This results in virtue of reduced blood flow and oxygenation to the various layers of the skin. This adverse effect potentially affects the appearance of the skin.

  • Neglecting Skin Care: People spending much time on the screen often defer or disregard the skincare routine, while consistency is the key to many skin care regimens. Improper skincare habits could affect the appearance of skin and overall health. In such a case, they forget or obliviate to cleanse, moisturize, or safeguard the skin from external determinants.

What Are the Adverse Effects of Screen Time on Hair?

Excessive screen time could have negative effects on the hair in several ways.

  • Reduced Blood Circulation: Sitting for a prolonged time while using screens often results in poor blood circulation in the scalp. The decreased or inadequate blood supply could affect the distribution of essential nutrients to the hair follicles, feasibly resulting in slower hair growth or fragile hair.

  • Poor Posture: People usually must be habituated to the proper posture while working on systems and smartphones. Maintaining poor posture for a longer time can strain the muscles associated with the neck and back. The muscle tension could indirectly distress the scalp and hair roots, potentially contributing to hair fall and problems.

  • Stress: Extended screen time, especially when exposed to anxiety or stress-inducing content, could cause increased stress levels in the body. Chronic stress is considered a substantial risk factor for hair fall problems. Hair loss conditions like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium are known to be precipitated by chronic stress.

  • Sleep Discrepancies: Engaging in mobile devices and screen time, particularly late at night, could modify sleep patterns, affecting physical and mental health. Poor sleep quality can cause stress, linked to hair fall problems. This is because stress impairs the body’s natural mechanism of hair growth.

What Are the Ways to Reduce Screen Time?

Reducing screen time has several benefits for physical, mental, and skin health. Here are some strategies that would help one cut down the screen time.

  • Incorporate daily and weekly limits for screen time and stick to that. Setting specified limits can help one rely on the restricted zones.

  • One can use screen time tracking apps to help one monitor screen time while providing insights into personalized usage patterns.

  • One can explore alternative activities and hobbies when there is an urge or curiosity to use the screen for entertainment.

  • Limit and minimize the time spent on social media. One can fix limits for daily usage.

  • Turning off non-essential notifications on the device can minimize unwanted distractions.

  • Spend more time on outdoor activities. A green environment has a positive impact on eye and skin health.

Prognosis

The prognosis is generally favorable if the affected individual identifies and avoids the specific triggers, such as certain metals or materials in the device casing. Simple preventive measures like using a protective case, applying a barrier cream, or employing screen protectors can often alleviate symptoms. If symptoms persist or worsen, seeking medical advice from a dermatologist is recommended for a more personalized diagnosis and treatment plan. In most cases, with proper identification and management of triggers, individuals can successfully alleviate screen dermatitis symptoms and prevent recurrence.

Conclusion

It is crucial to practice a healthy screen time regimen to mitigate physical and mental health problems. To prevent and obviate such skin concerns associated with screen dermatitis, one must take a break from screen use. Opt for blue light filters, maintain good skin hygiene, and ensure a clean screen. Moreover, proper skincare and haircare routines could help negate some adverse impacts of excessive screen time. It is rational to consult a healthcare provider or dermatologist for appropriate diagnosis, tailored advice, and a holistic approach If one has any persistent issues like skin irritation and rashes.

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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Venereology

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