This year the advertising of some brands of sun creams is focused on protection against blue light. This kind of light is what detach electronic screens, like the mobile or the computer. With the presence of teleworking still in our lives, many people are concerned about the effects of blue light in their day to day, but At what level can it be harmful to our skin? Should I protect myself against this type of light?
We have already talked about filter glasses or other creams that protect against blue light, but now we also find protection against it in sun creams. To know more about this topic, in Ezanime.net we have contacted Monserrat Fernandez Guarino, a dermatologist at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital.
“It does not cause cancer”
The first thing to know is that if we do not have any skin related diseases, we should not worry about blue light. In some cases, with certain patients such as people who have melasmas, the use of protection against blue light can be recommended. “The melasmas they are some spots that appear to women on the face. This also happens a lot to pregnant women “; in this case, indicates Fernández Guarino, it would be called” chloasma “. “they get much worse” with “visible light”, including the blue type. In addition, it may also be necessary in people with “rare dermatoses, as with porphyrias“, says the dermatologist.” But that already they are more rare cases, which can be made worse by blue light. The general population may be calmer. ”
“The general population can be calm”
“Although if you are in front of the computer all day, you can put on a sunscreen (or another type) with protection for blue light,” says the dermatologist. But the most important thing is that although it can “cause damage” to the skin, such as spots or wrinkles, “does not cause cancer”, explains from the other side of the telephone line Fernández Guarino.
And this is the most important thing we need to know about blue light. As other types of light can cause cancer. “The light that we really have to protect ourselves from is ultraviolet, which is what damages our skin. They are UVA, UVB and UVC”, indicates the dermatologist. Also, these are the last two, UV lights B and C, which cause cancer, illustrates.
Definitely, blue light “is not tremendously harmful light, is responsible for very little damage to the skin, “he says. However, with patients who have melasmas or other rare dermatoses,” even a small percentage, you take it off. “And because of that, these people, if they want, they could protect themselves against blue light.
No novelty in sunscreens
However, it must be taken into account that photoresists that include blue light (and others in the visible spectrum) they are not something new.
“They are announcing it now, but pharmaceutical companies have been putting what is called visible light between the filters for a long time. It is still marketing, it is directing the consumer towards their product”
Montserrat Fernandez Guarino
In fact, it’s always okay to learn to read all kinds of labels, not just food labels. For example, when we take a bottle of sunscreen the factor that marks, that 30 or 50, “refers to UVB light.” This is because the European Union legislation marks this as a “minimum quality standard”. From there, manufacturers can add photoresist for other types of light. “To make sun cream better you can also add UVA protection, which is the second most important in staining or wrinkling the skin. Then you can add protection for the infrared, which is not fashionable now, but is another strip of light that can damage the skin; it is not carcinogenic “, explains the dermatologist.” And then there is the protection for visible light, which is not mandatory and the consumer has to look for them on the label if they want to protect themselves from them, although they are not carcinogenic either, “she adds.” But all of them those are not regulated, the only one is UVB “.
The imprint of the different spectra of light on our skin
Photo by David Brooke Martin on Unsplash
The most important thing to note is that the lights UVB and UVC are those that are linked to the development of skin cancer. It is important to understand it to be clear that, when we talk about protection against other types of light, we do not mean that they also cause cancer. In fact, it is a protection against damage such as the appearance of wrinkles or spots. A matter a little more aesthetic than related to health, at least for the majority of the population.
“The electromagnetic spectrum is all the radiation in the environment. If we focus on the light we receive from the Sun, there are ultraviolet A, B and C, which are the classically avoidable ones. UVB and UVC are especially linked to skin cancer, while UVA causes more wrinkles and blemishes“says the dermatologist over the phone line.” And then there is visible light, which is red light, blue light … like a Rainbow. And all those lights make white light. ”
“It seems that, in some cases, blue is capable of producing stains. With the advent of teleworking, it has become fashionable to protect ourselves from blue light, but there are sun creams that have filters for all visible light for a long time “, he indicates. In fact, he adds that this type of filters are recommended” especially for very damaged skin, patients with porphyria, especially skin cancer and for melasma. “This is because visible light are” sources of light that stain “the skin too.
Ultraviolet lights, such as UVB and UVC, in addition to being carcinogenic, “also burn the skin, they make it red.” While with other types of light, such as blue, this does not happen. The most important thing is not to be afraid, neither of some types of light nor of the others. In the end, the light is healthy; we need it, for example, to synthesize vitamin D. So what we have to do is protect us; even if without obsessing.
Dermatological light treatments
Treatments with visible or ultraviolet light are the order of the day. “It is curious because there is a duality: excessively damaging, but applied by a professional stimulates and comes in handy. It would be necessary to study more on this subject”, indicates the dermatologist.
“UVB light is also used in medical treatments, but always under prescription and modulating very well what we do with it. Also UVA. UVB is used to treat psoriasis; UVA is widely used in Central Europe for atopic dermatitis. While infrared is used to heal and it is used a lot by dentists. Visible light is used a lot on an aesthetic level, but for example red light is used for the rehabilitation of the knees, also for healing. And blue light is used to prevent herpes and other infections, “explains Fernandez Guarino.
Therefore, we should not fear blue light or any other, not even ultraviolet, since we can protect ourselves with sun creams. If we want to maintain perfect skin, without wrinkles or spots, in that case we can consider using this type of sunscreen. But we have to bear in mind that in very few cases it actually damages our skin.