Ask the Doc: Nanomaterials and Your Skin
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Nanomaterials sound like they only exist in science fiction, but they're everywhere-- possibly even in sunblock. Watch this video to learn if they're dangerous or not.
Transcript: Q: What are nanomaterials and are they safe in sunscreen? Nanomaterials, or more general, nano technology,...
Q: What are nanomaterials and are they safe in sunscreen? Nanomaterials, or more general, nano technology, is the science that investigates and manipulates materials at the size rate between one and one hundred nano meters. Well what does that mean? Think of a single hair strand. A single hair is on the broader of 10 to 1000 nanometers in dynameters. Cells, cellular organelles, even bacteria are huge on this scale. In fact, even the smallest viruses, such as the adenovirus, are on the broader of 150 nanometers: even beyond the spectrum. If that doesn't convince you, Lebron James is two billion nanometers in height and that is a lot of nano. So what is the big or little deal here? At this size, materials behave differently. As the size of material decreases its surface area relative to volume exponentially increases. What does this mean? There is more surface to go around. This means this surface can easily interact with biological processes or features such as the skin or other organs. Now, the question has come up: are these materials safe? This is a general statement. Nanomaterials encompasses many, many different things. The FDA has recently released draft guidelines approaching this issue, such as: how do we determine if these are safe? Cosmetic companies typically use these materials for many of their benefits- such as making sunscreens invisible or giving something that usually feels kind of icky a little more cosmetic appeal. They don't have to state that these have nano materials in them. The FDA is approaching this so everyone feels safe with the products.More »
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Do you know why you need sun block? Watch this video to learn why everyone needs protection from the sun's harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer.
Transcript: With 3.5 million cases diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United...
With 3.5 million cases diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States today. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Most skin cancer forms on areas that are directly exposed to the sun, like the face, head, neck, tips of the ears, hands, forearms, shoulders, and back. Meanwhile, the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, can be DIRECTLY linked to the sun in 65-percent of cases. These statistics are frightening on their own, but remember that such cancer cases could possibly have been PREVENTED. It is well known that sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. The World Health Organization has even ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sources, like tanning beds, on the list of known cancer causing substances. And if THAT doesnt get you, this should: direct exposure to the sun is THE number one cause of aging skin. In fact, up to 90-percent of wrinkles, liver spots, and other visible signs of aging can be attributed to the sun! And dont think that you are protected by winter, clouds, water, or even WINDOWS. Sixty to 80-percent of the suns rays can penetrate cloud cover and water, plus 80-percent of rays are reflected off snow. In addition, darker skinned people are NOT immune to the suns harmful rays, even though they may not burn as easily. In fact, at 77-percent, the survival rate among skin cancer patients is lower in black people than in white people, who have a 91-percent survival rate. Therefore, applying sunscreen DAILY is non-negotiable. To get the maximum benefit, pick a formula with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 30. This will block 97-percent of ultraviolet B rays. UVB rays are the sun burning rays, which cause painful red sun burns and skin cancers. Ultraviolet A, or UVA, radiation is the other form of harmful sunlight. This form is more often associated with aging skin, and serious skin cancers. SPF has nothing to do with UVA protection, so it is important to use a sunscreen that has Broad-Spectrum written on the label. Contents such as zinc oxide or avobenzone provide this coverage. Remember though, that sunscreen is only effective if you apply it right! Youll want to use a full shotglass-worth of product to coat your body. And remember --apply sunscreen about half an hour before you go outdoors, and then every two hours or so. Always reapply after swimming or sweating profusely. Sunscreens can both rub off and wash off, so after drying with a towel, make sure to reapply. The facts prove that doing so will keep your skin happy and healthy! Learn more about skin protection in this series of videos!More »
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Just because it's sold in your favorite store doesn't mean that your skin cream is safe. Find out more about your skin care creams by watching this video.
Transcript: Many of us assume that if its in a skincare product, the ingredient is automatically safe. The truth...
Many of us assume that if its in a skincare product, the ingredient is automatically safe. The truth IS that the FDA DOESNT regulate skincare products, so unlike medications, theyre NOT rigorously tested. The FDA counts skincare products as a cosmetic and not as medication. Therefore, knowing how to interpret a skin care label is non-negotiable! Lets start by looking at the ingredients your skin will savor. Among the greatest components are antioxidants, agents that fight free radicals, (unstable oxygen molecules.) If left unchecked, free radicals damage skin cells and DNA, accelerating the signs of aging. The most effective and safest antioxidant ingredients are RETINOL, which is a form of Vitamin A found in prescription products like Retin-A, and in over-the-counter creams and L-ASCORBIC ACID, or Vitamin C, which is the only antioxidant that is known to encourage skins creation of extra collagen, an agent that encourages plumping and smoothing. If youre seeking a cream that will also lighten your skin, you may notice hydroquinone or kojic acid printed on the label. The ingredients are both known for their efficiency in bleaching the skin, so theyre perfect for women with sun spots and the darkening of the skin common after pregnancy. Meanwhile, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) exfoliate skin and reduce fine lines or scars. All fourglycolic, lactic, citric and tartaricare active ingredients in skincare. Another acid addition, HYALURONIC acid, is made by your body to cushion and lubricate skin by holding onto 1000 TIMES its weight in water, This keeps the deeper portions of your skin pliable and youthful. Finally, dont fear salicylic acid, also known as beta-hydroxy acid. This product is particularly good for treating acne. But not all the stuff in your skin care products is safe or beneficial. On the list of No Good Very Bad Stuff, look for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS). Although they increase the foaming action of your face wash, these synthetic chemicals can cause serious skin irritation in the short-term, andbecause of their ability to build up in the bodymay lead to toxic damage over time. Youll also want to watch out for parabens, chemical preservatives which are known to be irritating to skin, can cause allergic reactions, and may be toxic over time. Frighteningly, a study held in 2004 in the UK found parabens in high concentrations in breast cancer tumors! And skip polyethylene glycol a cosmetic thickener that actually HASTENS aging by interfering with the skins natural moisture balance. Beauty may only be skin deep, but the products you use to get pretty will definitely sink deeper. So learn a little label know-how!More »
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Moles are perfectly normal-- except when they develop into skin cancer. Learn how to spot the changes.
Transcript: We all have moles. The average person is spotted with at least 10 to 40 of them-- and new ones can keep...
We all have moles. The average person is spotted with at least 10 to 40 of them-- and new ones can keep cropping up. And while most are harmless beauty marks, IRREGULAR shaped growths can be a potential sign of skin cancer. Heres how to tell whats normal and whats not. Normal moles form on our skin when pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, grow in a cluster. They can be flat or bumpy, round or oval, and can come in brown, pink, tan, or flesh-colored. They are usually small, getting no bigger than a pencil eraser. One out of every 10 Americans has an abnormally shaped mole called a dysplastic nevus (or nevi in plural). These are usually larger than a regular mole and have asymmetrical borders and uneven coloring. The more of these moles you have, the higher your cancer risk. So, make regular skin checks and sun screen a mandatory part of your routine.You and your doctor will be looking for signs of melanoma on your skin. While melanoma accounts for only 3 percent of all skin cancer cases, it is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer related deaths. Its easy to cure when treated early. Untreated, the cancer can spread to other, harder to treat parts of the body. Here are some signs to look for remember it as your ABCs. A: Asymmetry: An EASY way to tell-- if the mole was folded in half, it would not match up. B: Check the BORDERS. Look to see if they are uneven or scalloped. C: What COLOR is it? Multiple shades of browns in one mole, or even RED and bluish colors can be a sign of melanoma. S: Size. It DOES matter for moles! Cancerous moles are usually WIDER in diameter than normal ones. If you see any of these signs or the moles has changed in appearance, have your doctor check it out immediately. If youre fair skinned, have a history of skin cancer in the family, have been sunburned often, live in a sunny climate or at high altitude, and/or have a weakened immune system, your risk is also higher. If your doctor suspects a mole to be potentially cancerous, he may remove it. A local anesthetic is applied to the skin and the mole is simply cut away. If the cells removed are found to be cancerous, larger areas of the skin may need to be treated. For more smart ways to keep you and your skin healthy, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Some folks have skin too sensitive for sunblock and other creams. But that doesn't mean they're destined to get sunburn every summer. Watch Dr. Friedman recommend sunblock options for people with sensitive skin.
Transcript: Q: I have sensitive skin, can't use most sunblock. Are hats good enough? You know I think you have...
Q: I have sensitive skin, can't use most sunblock. Are hats good enough? You know I think you have a great point some protection is not just about sunblock; it's about other measures as well. That includes wearing hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, as well as trying to seek shade during the higher peak hours of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., depending on where you are in the world. Now as far as sensitive skin, I find that most who have people sensitive skin and a sensitive reaction to sunscreens or sun blocks are because of the chemical absorbers in them, such as oxybenzone or avobenzone. For these patients I recommend they use the physical or mineral blockers such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. In fact if you look at the baby or infant sunscreens those are the only ones that have these components because baby skin is much more sensitive than adult skin. I would recommend using one of these sunblocks; making sure that it says SPF 30 or higher; plus broad-spectrum.More »
Last Modified: 2012-08-15 | Tags »
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There is a lot of talk out there about carcinogenic chemicals and substances. But are these ingredients present in sunblock? Get the truth.
Transcript: Q: Is it true that sunblock ingredients may cause cancer? So I think this question is referring...
Q: Is it true that sunblock ingredients may cause cancer? So I think this question is referring to the environmental working groups issuing a warning that sunscreens containing retinyl propionate can cause cancer. Retinyl propionate is a vitamin A derivative. In fact, dermatologists use vitamin A derivatives to treat a whole host of diseases, ranging from acne to psoriasis to even preventing skin cancer. This warning was issued following several in-vitro or in the lab or test-tube reports, saying that this material can cause oxidative stress or free radicals that can go on to cause skin cancer. These tests in the lab really underestimate how important our immune system and how our body's can maintain a balance and wrench these free radicals. There was one study in mice showing that it's possible this material can cause cancer however it is believed this study did not look at all the possible variables and therefore was dismissed by the American Academy of Dermatology who did issue a response saying they did not believe retinyl propionate causes cancer and everyone should use sunscreen.More »
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You may be wary of the sunblock sold in drugstores. Is there anything more natural you can use? Learn more.
Transcript: Q: Are there any natural sunblocks? That's a great question. In fact, the mineral sunblocking agents such...
Q: Are there any natural sunblocks? That's a great question. In fact, the mineral sunblocking agents such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are in fact considered natural. The environmental working group, who every year evaluates new and established sunscreens, issued a statement saying that these are "natural sunblocking agents." Of course, other methods need to be taken, in terms of protecting oneself from the sun. You can also get protection from the sun with SPF build in clothing. There are hats, long-sleeve shirts and pants. These are natural alternatives to the chemical absorbing sunscreen agents.More »
You may be wary of the sunblock sold in drugstores. Is there anything more natural you can use? Learn more. zinc oxide, sunblock, sunscreen, spf, natural sunblock, broad spectrum skin cancer, sunburned, suntan, tanning, melanoma, squamous, basal, spf banana boat, coppertone, hawaiian tropic
We admit it, tans look nice on a lot of people. But those same people want to avoid skin cancer, so what's the lowest SPF that protects? Learn more.
Transcript: Q: What SPF level can you still can a tan? So, I am sorry to say, but there is no such thing as a...
Q: What SPF level can you still can a tan? So, I am sorry to say, but there is no such thing as a safe tan. A tan is actually the body's response to protect oneself from the sun. It, in fact, indicates that your skin cells have been damaged. SPF refers to sun protection factor. It only refers to a sunscreen's ability to protect from the ultraviolet B radiation. This is the kind of ultraviolet that burns: So, B for burning. This has nothing to do with ultraviolet A radiation, which may not burn, but also goes on to cause the same damage that can both result in skin cancer-but even sooner create fine lines and wrinkles and dark spots. It is very important to apply an SPF of at least 30 broad-spectrum protection, at least 20-30 minutes before going outside. As well as, every two hours you are outside; or after swimming or sweating profusely and wiping the sweat off. Now SPF 30, what does that mean? SPF 30 refers to blocking about 97 percent of ultraviolet radiation. Well what about 15? That's about 94 percent. I'm a little greedy; I want that extra three percent and I think you would want that too.More »
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Freckles and sunspots appear in multitudes after a summer in the sun. Do they increase your risk for skin cancer? Get answers from Dr. Friedman.
Transcript: Q: Do the freckles and sunspots you get after a sunburn turn into skin cancer? This is a good question...
Q: Do the freckles and sunspots you get after a sunburn turn into skin cancer? This is a good question and really requires some definitions. So sunspots or lentigines occur after many years of being in the sun. Typically what is happening here are the pigment cells or melanocytes are getting much larger. These typically do not turn to skin cancers, nor do freckles or ephelides. This is not an increase in size of the melanocyte, rather it's the increase of pigment production. This is why they tend to fade during the wintertime, whereas sunspots do not. Now any sun exposed area that has repeated sun exposure is at potential risk for skin cancer. It is important to look for warning size, such as change in size, color or if the area becomes itchy or painful or even breaks open and starts to bleed. If any of these problems have happen make sure to go see a dermatologist immediately.More »
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Sunburns are quite painful. But do they give you skin cancer if you only get burned once in awhile? Dr. Friedman knows.
Transcript: Q: How much sun burning is really bad? Is 1x a year that terrible? So, unfortunately even a single...
Q: How much sun burning is really bad? Is 1x a year that terrible? So, unfortunately even a single sunburn is bad for your skin. If fact, one single sunburn doubles your risk for melanoma. Therefore it is extremely important to not only use sunblock- as well as sun protection methods, such as sunblock, appropriate clothing and seeking shade- but also to use it correctly, which not many people do. It is important to apply a sunscreen that contains SPF sunscreen of at least 30 or higher, plus broad-spectrum protection as least 20-30 minutes before going outside. Re-apply every two hours if you are going to be outside, or re-apply if you are swimming or sweating profusely and then toweling down. It is important to use the right amount as well. It important to use the right amount as well. You should use about a shot-glass full of sunblock to cover all sun-exposed areas. Don't just think about the face as the only sun-exposure area. Don't forget about the ears, the neckline, as well as the back of the hands, especially if you are clothed.More »
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You love the outdoors, but you're not so keen on melanoma. How can you have fun outside but protect yourself against skin cancer? Is sunblock enough? Get the answers from Dr. Friedman.
Transcript: Q: I'm an outdoorsy-type, but still want to take care of my skin. What should I do? Being outdoors...
Q: I'm an outdoorsy-type, but still want to take care of my skin. What should I do? Being outdoors can be lots of fun. It can be even more fun if you protect yourself from the sun and don't get burned. So, if you are going to be outside makes sure to use a sunblock that contains an SPF of at least 30, plus broad-spectrum protection. Also, dress appropriately: where sunglasses, hats as well as appropriate clothing. Stay in shaded paths, as opposed to sunny paths. The sun is at its pinnacle between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.More »
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Is it safe to take your baby to the park this summer? What about his or her sensitive skin? If you're worried, watch this video and find out what Dr. Friedman has to say.
Transcript: Q: How old does my baby need to be before using sunscreen? Baby skin is very sensitive to all elements,...
Q: How old does my baby need to be before using sunscreen? Baby skin is very sensitive to all elements, including the sun. In fact, sunburn in an infant can be considering a medical emergency. Up until six months babies cannot wear sunblock. Therefore it is very important to keep them covered. You can take them outside as long as they wear appropriate clothing, as well as the stroller is adequately shaded. After six months they can use sunblock. But I do recommend using the physical blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It is pretty easy to find these zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunblocks in your local pharmacy.More »
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BB cream, or beauty balm, is supposed to be a miracle product. But is this cosmetic everything it's supposed to be? Watch this video to get the truth on BB cream.
Transcript: BB cream stands for beauty balm cream. And some reviews make it seem like it's the end-all and be-all...
BB cream stands for beauty balm cream. And some reviews make it seem like it's the end-all and be-all of makeup. No more foundation, no more cover-up, no more tinted moisturizer or sunscreen - now you can have it all in one product, they say....but is BB cream all it's cracked up to be? Well, it's got the right ingredients to do what it claims. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are proven moisturizers. Dimethicone makes your skin feel really smooth. And titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone offer sun protection. The various brands of BB cream have SPFs ranging from 15 to 45. But if you're going to the beach or will be outside in the sun for a long period of time, a BB cream is not enough on its own. So, who does BB cream work for? It's good for anyone who wants a quick, one-step beauty routine and who only needs light coverage. If you've got stuff you want to cover up, undereye circles, acne spots, dark spots, you're probably not going to be happy with a BB cream and should stick to traditional foundation. Now men also like BB cream because it's super-easy to apply, it doesn't look like makeup and makes their skin look a lot healthier. However, if you're buying a BB cream, there's a few things to keep in mind. First, inexpensive drugstore BB cream are just as good as expensive ones in some cases. What's most important is how it looks and feels on your skin. And second, BB creams don't match very light or very dark complexions because they usually only come in a few shades. Also, if you have oily skin, choose an oil-free BB cream. And avoid the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate. It's a detergent that can irritate and dry out skin and is found in a lot of BB creams. And for more honest takes on popular beauty products, check out other videos in this series!More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-31 | Tags »
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