HYDERABAD: Do you think you know everything about smart phone ? but you actually don’t know what its doing to your skin. The new issueby smartphone users in the city is numbness due to reduced skin sensitivity and damage to the soft tissue of thumb and forefinger.Good news for female aspirants,More seats for women at IITs
Doctors say the number of cases seen of reduced skin sensitivity, numbness, and burning sensation are ever increasing, Though texting thumb continues to be a major health issue for smartphone users, damage to the ventral or palmar portion of thumb is a new challenge. Some doctors even warn of severe damage to the fingerprints themselves, creating biometric problems. As an increasing number of financial and non-financial transactions including attendance is linked to fingerprints, any damage to the palmar side may impact biometrics.
Though there are no official statistics on mobile phone numbness, as the cases are new and emerging, doctors say they receive at least half a dozen cases each a week. The complaints are: burning sensation, pain, numbness, roughness and hardening of skin. Although there are a number of studies on the ‘texting thumb’, no one has initiated a research on mobile phone numbness yet.Follow us on facebook
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Doctor Alka a Dermatologist at Apollo hospitals said Repeated sliding and rubbing of palmar surface of thumbs in smartphone use can lead to thickening of skin as it happens in any other work involving friction. “A thickened skin is less sensitive compared to thin skin elsewhere on the body. Secondly, radiation, vibration and heat from the phone can add to the thickening and numbness,” said doctor Alka adding that over a year it may distort fingerprints. He said faulty positioning of thumb during smartphone use can also lead to small joint pain.she said.
Dermatologist bharath said thickening of the skin of thumb would cause reduced sensation. Though short-time contact of thumb with touchscreens when skin is normal looking does not cause sensitivity, if skin is thickened sensation is relatively reduced in that zone. She said excessive rubbing or sliding of fingers or thumb on mobile screen may hurt in the long run, however it may not effect much in short time.
The best solution to the mobile phone numbness problem is to use smartphone only when required. Frequent rubbing against the screen would only complicate issues. As skin regenerates at a fast rate, the damage can be overcome by judicious use of smartphones. But if it has caused permanent damage, it is difficult to regain normalcy, said general physician Dr shantan reddy Vedanta dental care.