- Gloria Vergara-Octaviano
‘Tech-neck’ and ‘Smartphone Face’: Is your Smartphone to Blame for Sagging Skin?
Cellular phones and laptops have long been implicated as the cause of various health conditions but recently we have been hearing the words “tech-neck” or “smartphone face”. So what exactly is tech-neck or smartphone face?
Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons coined these names because of the increasing number of skin tightening procedures and chin implants that they claim are secondary to cellular phones and laptops. Doctors say that frequent neck bending cause by looking at the cell phone screens will lead to sagging skin, dropping jowls and lines just above the collarbone.
A pioneering medical aesthetic practitioner, Dr Mervyn Patterson, of the Woodford Medical Aesthetics coined the name “smartphone face”. He claimed that 'If you sit for hours with your head bent slightly forward, staring at your iPhone or laptop screen, you may shorten the neck muscles and increase the gravitational pull on the jowl area, leading to a drooping jaw line. We usually see sagging skin and wrinkles at the beginning of middle age but apparently there is an increasing incidence of premature skin sagging because of too much use of smartphones and laptops. Other doctors call them ‘tech-neck’ which is found mostly in people aged 18 to 39 who have an average of three digital devices and look down at their screens up to 150 times a day. The frequent neck bending hastens the impact of gravity and natural loss of the skin’s elasticity leading to folds and sagging skin.
Wrinkles are natural part of ageing, it starts to appear as a result of sun exposure, frequent use of facial muscles, smoking, alcohol drinking, genetics and hormonal depletion. People who suddenly lost a lot of weight may also experience sagging skin. Creams and serums containing retinol or retinoid have been proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Others medications include powerful anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and E, CoenzymeQ10 and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA).More invasive procedures include injectables like soft tissue fillers and Botox, skin resurfacing and surgery (ex: face lift, feather lift). Non invasive treatment options include skin tightening, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Radio Frequency, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. These procedures may be combined for optimum treatment but results may vary depending on the location and depth of wrinkles. Repeated treatments may be necessary so make sure you discuss this with your skin practitioner to see which treatment is best for your skin.
How to prevent premature wrinkling?
Wear sunscreen even on winter when outdoors, it is best to use broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect your skin from UVA and UVB with at least SPF 30.
Do not expose to too much sun and wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sun glasses.
Do not over wash face as water strips skin of its natural barrier that protects it against wrinkles.(We suggest water based moisturizers)
Avoid smoking because it is proven to cause premature ageing.
Sleep early and eat healthy.
ABOUT OUR GUEST AUTHOR
Gloria Octaviano is a Physician-Dermatoogist in the Philippines, she is a member of the International Society of Dermatology and Philippine Academy of Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology. She is the founding partner of Melanin Aesthetics and Laser Clinic, Gloria is the clinical researcher and training officer of Nubody Equipment Ltd., Canada. Her office, Melanin Aesthetics and Laser Clinic is located at 10342 Whalley Blvd, Surrey BC. You can find more information at http://www.melaninlaserclinic.com
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