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Wrinkles and UVB

Clippings from the web  March 2010

http://www.anyvitamins.com/astaxanthin-skin.htm  Astaxanthin stop wrinkles for hairless mice
Details at http://www.asta.cn/data/Anti-skin.pdf
http://www.healthandage.com/encyclopedia/Skin-wrinkles-and-blemishes  extensive
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_some_home_care_treatments_reducing_wrinkles_000021_4.htm  Univ Of Maryland   12/2008
Skin wrinkles and blemishes - Prevention
An in-depth report on the treatment and prevention of skin wrinkles and blemishes.
Alternative Names  Liver spots; Pupura; Seborrheic keratoses; Cosmetic surgery; Plastic surgery
The best long-term prevention for overly wrinkled skin is a healthy lifestyle.
Eat Healthy. A diet with plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy oils (such as olive oil) may protect against oxidative stress in the skin. One study reported that people over age 70 had fewer wrinkles if they ate such foods. Diet played a role in improving skin, regardless of whether the people in the study smoked or lived in sunny countries. Benefits from these foods may be due to high levels of antioxidants found in them.
Exercise. Daily exercise keeps blood flowing, which brings oxygen to the skin. Oxygen is an important ingredient for healthy skin.
Avoid tobacco smoke. Smoking not only increases wrinkles, but a smoker's risk for squamous cell cancers is 50% higher than that of a nonsmoker. Smokers should quit to prevent many health problems, not just unhealthy skin. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous.
Daily Preventive Skin Care
The following are some daily measures for skin protection:
    * Don't wash your face too often with tap water. (Once a day is enough.) It strips the skin of oil and moisture. Chlorinated water, particularly at high temperatures, poses special risks for wrinkles.
    * Wash your face with a mild soap that contains moisturizers. Avoid alkaline soaps, especially with deodorant.
    * Pat the skin dry and immediately apply a water-based moisturizer.
    * Always apply sunscreen, even if going outdoors for short periods of time. One study found that applying a cream containing a UVA and UVB protective sunscreen every day helped prevent sun-related skin damage.
    * Avoid drinking alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime. Alcohol increases the risk for leaks in the capillaries, which allows more water in and causes sagging and puffiness. Capillary leakage increases when you lie down.
    * Lie on your back when sleeping. This helps offset the effects of gravity.
Avoid Sun Exposure
One of the most important ways to prevent skin damage is to avoid excessive sun exposure. The following are some specific guidelines:
    * Use sunscreens that block out both UVA and UVB radiation. However, do not rely only on sunscreen for sun protection. Also wear protective clothing and sunglasses.
    * Avoid sun exposure, particularly from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., when sunlight pours down 80% of its daily UV dose.
    * Avoid reflective surfaces, such as water, sand, concrete, and white-painted areas. Clouds and haze are not protective and, in some cases, they may intensify UVB rays.
    * Ultraviolet intensity depends on the angle of the sun, not its heat or brightness. The dangers are greater the closer to the start of summer. For example, in the Northern Hemisphere, UV intensity in April (2 months before summer starts) is equal to that in August (2 months after summer begins).
    * The higher the altitude, the quicker you will sunburn. One study suggested, for example, that an average complexion burns in 6 minutes at an altitude of 11,000 feet at noon, compared with 25 minutes at sea level in a temperate climate.
    * Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds or salons. They provide mostly high-output UVA rays. Some experts believe that 15 - 30 minutes at a tanning salon is as dangerous as a day spent in the sun. People should not be misled by advertising claims of "safe" tanning or promotions offering unlimited tanning.
Sunscreens. The use of sunscreens is complex, and everyone should understand how and when to use them. The bottom line is not that people should avoid sunscreens or sunblocks, but that they should always use them in combination with other sun-protective measures.
Protective Clothing. Wearing sun-protective clothing is extremely important, because it protects even better than sunscreens. Special clothing is now available for blocking UV rays. It is rated using SPF ratings or a system called the UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) index, with 50 UPF being the highest. Protective clothing is expensive, however.
The following are some sun protection tips for everyone:
    * Wear a hat with a wide brim. However, even wearing a hat may not fully protect you against skin cancers of the head and neck.
    * Look for loosely fitted, unbleached, tightly woven fabrics. The tighter the weave, the more protective the garment.
    * Washing clothes over and over improves UPF by drawing fabrics together during shrinkage. An easy way to assess protection is simply to hold the garment up to a window or lamp and see how much light comes through. The less light, the better.
    * Everyone over age 1 should wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
Chemical Tanners. Some research suggests that melanin and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the active ingredients in many self-tanning lotions, may help filter out UVA and UVB radiation and are therefore protective against sun damage. More research is underway. A preliminary study found that people who received numerous daily injections of melanotan-1 (MT-1) before going in the sun or a tanning bed tanned more quickly and showed fewer signs of sun-related damage. MT-1 is a synthetic version of the hormone melanin, which helps produce the skin's natural pigment (color).
Sunscreen Guidelines
When choosing a sunscreen, look at the ingredients. Preparations that help block UV radiation are sometimes classified as sunscreens or sunblocks, according to the substances they contain. In general, sunscreens contain organic formulas and sunblocks contain inorganic formulas. However, the term sunblock is used less and less as sunscreens increasingly contain both kinds of ingredients:
    * Organic formulas contain UV-filtering chemicals such as octocrylene, octyl salicylate, homosalate, and octyl methoxycinnamate (block UVB), avobenzone-Parsol 1789 (blocks UVA), cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate (blocks UVB and small amounts of UVA), oxybenzone, benzophenone-3 (blocks UVA/UVB). Look for a wide-spectrum sunscreen that contains combinations of these ingredients and filters both UVA and UVB. Of note: para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), once a popular ingredient, is now used infrequently. PABA may actually break down and release harmful oxidants when exposed to UV light. In addition, many people have an allergic reaction to it. Some products contain PABA derivatives, such as padimate O or octyl dimethyl PABA. It is not known whether they have the same effects.
    * The Food and Drug Administration approved Anthelios SX in July 2006. This new sunscreen prevents sunburn and protects against UVA and UVB rays. The product contains ecamsule, an ingredient not previously marketed in the United States. Research finds that sunscreens containing this ingredient are highly effective at absorbing UVA rays — the cause of DNA, cell, tissue damage that leads to skin aging.
    * Inorganic formulas contain the UV-blocking pigments zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Zinc and titanium oxides lie on top of the skin and are not absorbed. They prevent nearly all UVA and UVB rays from reaching the skin. Older sunblocks are white, pasty, and unattractive, but current products use so-called microfine oxides, either zinc (Z-Cote) or titanium. They are transparent and nearly as protective as the older types. Microfine zinc oxide may be more protective and less pasty-colored than microfine titanium oxide.
Inexpensive products work as well as expensive ones with the same ingredients. Unfortunately, there are still no standards for sunscreens, and even those claiming UVA protection may offer very little. In one study, the average UVA protection from a wide range of brands was only 23%. By comparison, the average protection of brands not claiming UVA protection was 37%.
Organic formulas and inorganic microfine oxides do not protect against visible light, which is a problem for people who have light-sensitive skin conditions, including actinic prurigo, porphyria, and chronic actinic dermatitis. Inorganic sunscreens that protect against visible light and are still cosmetically acceptable are now available in Europe, but not yet in the U.S.
Calculating the SPF. The sun protection factor (SPF) on all sunscreen labels is a ratio based on the amount of UVB (not UVA) radiation required to turn sunscreen- or sunblock-treated skin red compared to non-treated skin. For instance, people who sunburn in 5 minutes and who want to stay in the sun for 150 minutes might use an SPF 30. The formula would be: 30 (the SPF number) times 5 (minutes to burn) = 150 minutes in the sun.

Protection offered by sunscreens may be classified as follows:
    * Minimal: SPF 2 to 11.
    * Moderate: SPF 12 through 29.
    * High: 30+. (Although some sunscreens claim SPFs higher than 30, the added protection at such higher levels is insignificant.)

SPF Levels by Age Group. Certain groups of people should wear sunscreen with a higher or lower SPF, depending on their age and other factors:

* Although sunscreens are safe in most toddlers and children, they should not be the first and only lines of defense. In fact, experts are worryied that by relying too much on sunscreen and not providing other protective measures, parents may actually be increasing their children's risk for melanoma. All young children should be well covered with clothing, sunglasses, and hats as the first line of defense against sunburn. Children should be kept out of the sun during peak sunlight periods. Sunscreens should not be used on babies younger than 6 months without consulting a doctor.
* Older children and adults (even those with darker skin) benefit from using SPFs of 15 and over. Some experts recommend that most people use an SPF of 30 on the face and 15 on the body.
* Adults who burn easily instead of tanning and anyone with risk factors for skin cancer should use an SPF of at least 30.
Timing and Amount of Application. Apply sunscreen or sunblock liberally as follows:
* Adults should include sunscreen as part of a daily skin regimen, even if they are only going outdoors for a short time.
* Apply a large amount of sunscreen to all exposed areas, including the ears and feet. To achieve protection as indicated by the sunscreen's SPF, experts recommend half a teaspoon each for the head, neck, and each arm, and a teaspoon each for the chest area, the back, and each leg.

* Apply initially 30 minutes before venturing outdoors for best results. (This allows time for the sunscreen to be absorbed.) Then reapply every 15 - 30 minutes while in the sunlight.
* Also reapply after exercise or swimming. (Choose a waterproof or water-resistant formula even if your activities don't include swimming. Waterproof formulas last for about 40 minutes in the water, whereas water-resistant formulas last only half as long.)
* Insect repellents reduce sunscreen SPFs by up to one-third. Use higher SPFs and apply liberally when using a combination of both products.
Possible Hazards of Sunscreens, Sun Avoidance, or Both. When used generously and appropriately, sunscreen products and sun avoidance help reduce the severity of many aging skin disorders, including squamous cell cancers. There are certain concerns, however. Although sunscreens help prevent squamous cell carcinomas and other skin disorders, sunscreen use may not protect against basal cell and melanoma cancers, and may even increase the risk. Some studies have reported a higher association with sunscreen use and these skin malignancies.
The reasons for this possible increased risk are unclear, though some theories include the following:
* Until recently, many sunscreens blocked UVB rays and not UVA, the more deeply penetrating rays now known to be especially dangerous. Past studies may not have reflected the effects of the broad-spectrum sunscreens now available, which block both UVA and UVB rays.
* People who apply sunscreens may feel safe and stay out longer than is safe during high sun-exposure hours. Even if a person doesn't sunburn, UVA rays can still penetrate the skin and do harm.
* People may not put on enough sunscreen. Most people apply only 20 - 60% of the recommended amount of sunscreen, which can provide significantly less SPF protection than what is on the label.
Sunscreen Use May Increase the Risk for Health Problems Related to Sunlight Deficiencies. There is significant concern that underexposure to sunlight, due to the use of sunscreens or sun-avoidance measures, may produce other health problems, such as the following:
* Vitamin D Deficiency. Vitamin D is found in only a few foods, such as fortified dairy products and fish, but it is produced in the skin in response to UVB sunlight. UVB rays may outshine dietary supplements for building the body's vitamin D reserves. Without an appropriate mix of diet and supplements, vigorous sun protection measures may increase a person's risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is important for preventing rickets, osteoporosis, and some cancers, including melanoma. People who need to avoid sunlight and whose diet is low in foods that contain vitamin D should check with their doctor about taking supplements. People with darker skin are at higher risk for deficiencies from sun protection than those with whiter skin. Note: vitamin D is toxic in high doses. Most doctors recommend 200 IU a day (for young adults) to 600 IU a day (above age 70). Doses up to 2,000 IU a day are considered safe.
* Other Cancers. Although sunlight is implicated in skin cancers, it is also associated with lower risks for breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers. Some protection against these cancers may be related to vitamin D production.
    * Depression. Many people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that generally occurs in winter and is associated with less sunlight exposure.
The bottom line is that modest "doses" of sunlight may be healthful, but taking vitamin D may provide similar benefits without damaging the skin.
    * www.aad.org — American Academy of Dermatology
    * www.asds.net — American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
    * www.plasticsurgery.org — American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
    * www.surgery.org — American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
    * www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet — Aging Skin Net

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    * Reviewed last on: 12/30/2008
    * Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, In-Depth Reports; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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