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Taking Selfies Causes Premature Skin Aging and Cancers, Doctors Say

By Alexandra Gratereaux
Posted On Mar 29, 2016
Taking Selfies Causes Premature Skin Aging and Cancers, Doctors Say

To take a selfie or not to take a selfie? That is the question and according to dermatologists, taking selfies is significantly making our skin age prematurely.

Joshua Zeichner, who works as an assistant dermatology professor at New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, says there is enough evidence clearly stating that the damage selfies are causing to our skin is nothing to take lightly.

“Visible light has been shown to rev up pigment production, leading to dark spots, and promote breakdown of collagen, which leads to wrinkles,”he told Allure magazine.

“It can also create reactive oxygen species that damage the skin and cause premature skin aging and perhaps skin cancers. There’s no way to avoid visible light totally, but limiting time in front of your computers and cell phones can certainly help,” he says.

According to SkinCancer.org, on an annual basis there are over 5.4 million cases of skin cancer treated in the United States annually. The organization also says nearly 90 percent of skin cancers are linked directly to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

This is why some doctors are not convinced that taking a selfie is enough to cause any skin damage.

“While it’s been conclusively shown that visible light can cause some skin diseases like lupus to flare, there’s no evidence that visible light, even at high intensity, contributes much to premature skin aging,” says Scott Dunbar, who is a dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.

Dunbar claims that the sunlight is much more damaging than any cellphone or computer screen.

“Even if there was some data regarding visible light aging the skin, its effect would be minuscule in comparison to ultraviolet light, which has been scientifically and convincingly proven to cause skin aging and skin cancer,” Dunbar says.

“I’d say that you could take over a million selfies or use a computer for 100 years, and that still would not be as impactful as spending a single day in the sun unprotected.”

For those eager selfie takers who are concerned about protecting their skin, Zeichner recommends using a lot of face creams and serums to prevent any damage and dark spots prior to snapping away and making pouting lip faces on your phone.