Health concerns about cell phones have been around for about as long as cell phones have been popular. You might have heard about a recent study in which researchers found that craning your head downwards to look at your smartphone can exert an extra 60 pounds of pressure on your spine, leading to lasting damage over time.
You’ve probably already heard about the disastrous effects that a dirty cell phone screen can have on your skin, but did you know that proper posture is just as important as a clean screen?
That same posture might also lead to wrinkles and prematurely sagging skin on your face and neck. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery calls it “tech neck,” warning that constantly looking down at your phone can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the thin skin of neck and face, which in turn could lead to less elasticity and more sagging.
No sustained research has been published on this phenomenon just yet, so it’s hard to say just how serious the effects might be. However, the amount of people seeking interventions to address sagging skin has certainly gone up. Minimally-invasive procedures like Botox, for instance, have increased 154 percent since the year 2000.
New treatments have also been developed to address sagging skin without the need for surgery or injections. Ultherapy uses ultrasound technology to stimulate the body’s development of collagen. It’s non-invasive, long-lasting, and requires no downtime, making it a convenient corrective to any sagging skin on your “tech neck” that you might have developed.
It should be noted, however, that genetics and lifestyle play a much larger part in the aging process than staring at your smartphone does. Cutting out technology might help your skin a bit (and not craning your neck will definitely help your spine), but it’s not going to instantly solve any problems that you’re experiencing.
Just to be safe, though: try not to spend too much time staring down at your screen. If you are using your phone, keep your chin up and bring your device up to eye level. This will cut down on the unnecessary pressure that leads to these kinds of problems in the first place. It might take some extra effort to remember, but your face, neck and spine will thank you later.