We’ve told you a few times about the negative effects that your devices can have on your body. The bright blue light emitted by your screens can change your sleep cycle. And one study shows that walking while using your phone can change your stride.
But what about skin cancer? One dermatologist claims that the blue light from our screens can actually have some of the same damaging effects as the sun’s rays. Is this bad medicine or is there actually any truth to this?
Dr. Howard Murad is a dermatologist with famous clients like Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez. He recently visited a British daytime talk show and shared that four days in front of computer and phone screens is equivalent to 20 minutes in the sun. He said that we should be wearing sunscreen to protect ourselves.
Does that sound a bit extreme to you? Maybe we’d be more open to Dr. Murad’s advice if it didn’t seem like he has ulterior motives. It just so happens that he owns a company that sells skin care products. His products include acne cleanser, anti-aging creams, and of course sunscreen.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this doctor has something to gain from telling us we need sunscreen to use our cellphones. But we also did some of our own research. There have been a few studies on this subject:
- One dermatologist told Bustle that the blue light may cause skin-aging but that screen filters and phone settings that reduce the blue light can protect you.
- Another study claimed that using your phone outside can damage your skin because the sun’s rays reflect off your screen and hit your face. But they also said that most people can’t read their screens in direct sunlight anyway.
- A study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information site found that blue lights from our devices do not cause damage to our DNA or skin aging.
You should definitely still use sunscreen to protect yourself when you’re outdoors. But as far as protecting yourself from your phone’s blue light, filters and settings seem to be the more effective and practical option.