How sending a text is making you age
SENDING text messages may be an essential form of modern communication but it is also causing premature ageing, particularly along the jaw and neck.
Experts have warned the phenomenon, known as text neck, has prompted a new spate of complaints at beauty salons, dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Skin Depth dermatologist Dr Alice Rudd said text neck is under recognised but an increasing cause of concern.
"Your neck is meant to be upright, not on a 45 degree angle so when it's bent, you lose the use of the muscles that are attached to the skin that make it robust and thick," Dr Rudd said.
"That leads to a thinning of the skin, crinkling and wrinkling. We should always be conscious of our posture because lengthening of the neck really helps the skin in that area."
Skincare expert and plastic surgeon Dr Chris Moss said he is seeing many more patients seeking treatment for neck wrinkles.
"They've largely become more aware of that area because they're taking more selfies while looking down and didn't know their neck looked so bad," Dr Moss said.
"The biggest cause of wrinkles is movement, such as expression lines around the eyes. When your head is drawn forward, the skin on your neck moves into folds.
"It's not uncommon for people to be looking at their devices 10 hours a day so that means they're looking down a lot which means continual creasing of the skin which means there is increased demand for people wanting to address that either through surgery or skin treatments."
Skin Deep beauty salon owner Kellie Moran said the focus used to be more on the decollotage but has shifted upwards to the jaw and neck line.
Celebrities such as the Kardashians have championed the popularity of a chiselled jaw which many young women aspire to copy.
"So many people are looking down at their phones to text so their skin is moving in a different way than it was 10 years ago," Ms Moran said.
"Most of our clients are city professionals and, for a lot of them, their whole world is about looking down at devices so they're looking to improve firmness around the neck."
Dr Moss also said that the blue light emanating from mobile phones and the flash of phone cameras is also causing increased redness, pigmentation and facial lines.
"We already know blue light can cause free radical damage and signs of ageing such as pigmentation and wrinkles so it's reasonable to assume that the blue light from devices is going to also worsen the ageing of the skin," he said.
Dr Moss has released a cosmetic line designed to help combat blue light damage.