Feeling Blue: blue light from electronic devices causes health concerns

Mobile phones and other electronic devices used by people all the time can pose little-known health hazards

Whether at work, at home or outdoors, people are constantly exposed to blue light from the sun and numerous other sources, like smartphones, tablets, PC monitors and TV sets. Unknown to many, though, blue light can either be a boon or even a significant bane to health depending on the type and amount of exposure to it.
 Feeling Blue Mobile phones are causing health hazards gafencu magazine (5)
 Medical experts say that natural blue light from the sun’s rays is beneficial to health as it triggers the production of vitamin D in the body. It regulates people’s biological clock to distinguish between day and night. It also stimulates and controls the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and increases mood. 

Feeling Blue Mobile phones are causing health hazards gafencu magazine

Blue light is also helpful in the workplace and is credited for resolving various health issues and a much higher level of productivity and results. Certain studies have also claimed improvements in the treatment of facial acne upon exposure to a LED emitted at 414nm. A combination of red and blue lights is also said to be employed more and more in clinical dermatologic therapies. 

“Some studies claim blue and red lights are being used more and more to address dermalogic issues”

However, Prolonged exposure to this artificial blue light, notably those emitted by strong LED lights or mobile electronic devices, can cause alarming side effects. While the benefits of this short-wavelength light are well documented, there is also a growing body of evidence that points to the potential health hazards of this artificial light.

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Surveys have shown that many adults, who regularly use electronic devices with illuminated displays, report, or complain of various symptoms of visual fatigue, such as impaired vision, dry and irritated eyes, and even headaches. Meanwhile, contact with harmful blue light between 380 and 450nm is said to cause age-related macular degeneration. Over time, retinal cells can become irreversibly damaged, a common occurrence in industrial countries that can result in blindness.

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No matter one’s stature in life or the nature of activities that a person engages in, he or she is bound to come across blue light in daily life since it is virtually everywhere. Changes in lifestyles are unwitting culprits in prolonged exposure to this artificial light. In addition to the natural rays from the sun, many people are constantly exposed to this type of short-wavelength light as lifestyle involves more and more use of smartphones, laptops, TV sets, and other electronic devices for prolonged periods of time. 

” Changes in lifestyles are unwitting culprits in prolonged exposures to harmful artificial blue light”

Despite these health risks, there are no reasons, though, to be alarmed at this stage as precautionary or remedial measures are readily and easily available that can be employed to blunt or eliminate blue light’s potential negative impacts. Wearing safety glasses that reduce harmful blue light is recommended at workplaces with electronic screens. Actively reducing the volume of artificial blue light emitted by electronic devices with a blue light filter app or avoiding the use of devices at bedtime can go a long way in preventing adverse health hazards of excessive exposure to blue light. 

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While blue light poses potential health risks, the most judicious and safest route to take – just like with cancer and other health hazards – is to determine and employ the most sensible precautionary measures, specifically to stay away to the extent possible from an identified hazard and reduce or even avoid prolonged exposure to anything and everything that can cause harm.   

Our phones are damaging our skin: Prevent blue light effects on skin

Blue light can be found anywhere, from sun rays to our computer screens and smartphones. Although blue light has been approved in skin therapy for killing bacteria and removing acne, new research on the effects of blue light have proven to produce signs of premature ageing and damage to skin-repairing cells if exposed to an excessive amount. 

Although our devices let out only a fraction of the sun’s blue light emission, long exposure to blue light can cause premature ageing in the form of what dermatologist, Doctor Sejal Shah explains as, “oxidative stress” and “hyper pigmentation”, which causes wrinkles, dark spots and a loss of collagen. Here are a few ways that we can take better care for our skin to prevent harmful effects of blue light. 

gafencu blue light damages the skin how to prevent it good habits

Build good habits that benefit your skin

A common knowledge in skin care is drinking plenty of water which keeps your body hydrated and improves your skin elasticity. On top of that, because a long exposure to blue light can cause oxidative stress to skin, incorporating antioxidants to your skin care routine and diet can neutralize and promote skin-rejuvenation. 


gafencu blue light damages the skin how to prevent it limit screen time

Reduce blue light exposure

There is no question that our dependency on our devices does subject us to long exposure to blue light. A conscious effort to limit screen time can reduce long exposures to its harmful effects. Especially for those who work at night or have a habit of scrolling through their feed before bedtime, blue light may experience sleep problems which can ultimately deter how our skin effectively absorbs nutrition and minerals. 


gafencu blue light damages the skin how to prevent it skin care

Adapt a skin care routine

A healthy skin care routine including washing your face and applying skin care products with the right ingredients can combat the harmful effects of blue light, such as products with medical grade moisturizer and ingredients containing antioxidants such as cacao and Camilla flower extracts. Doctor Marcelo Antunes advises using mineral-based sunscreens with iron oxides which reflects blue light. 


There is still a need for more research in order to determine the degree of damage blue light emitted from digital screens can have on our skin. Nevertheless good habits and the right products can help prevent the damage that blue light cause on our skin