News & Media: Blog
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Important Facts About Indoor Tanning


1. The use of indoor tanning devices represents a significant and avoidable risk factor for the development of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Other adverse effects due to indoor tanning include burns, solar skin damage, infection, and possibly also addictive behavior.

2. A person who has used tanning devices for more than 50 hours, 100 sessions, or 10 or more years is 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than a person who has never tanned indoors.

3. 76 percent of melanomas are attributable to ever-use (even one session) of a tanning device.

4. Use of indoor tanning in the past year was higher among girls and among the older age groups. These proportions among 14-, 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old girls were 8.5%, 13.6%, 20.9%, and 26.8% respectively.

5. The presence of state legislation restricting minors’ access to indoor tanning by requiring parental consent has limited effectiveness.


Allure Magazine Features "The 10 Commandments of Anti-Aging"

An online feature from Allure magazine, “The 10 Commandments of Anti-Aging,” discusses crucial habits for maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Dr. Channing Barnett agrees with what her colleagues have to say. Click on the link below for the article.


Vitamins and Nutrients: Their Role in Skin Health

We all know that eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of valuable nutrients and vitamins is a key element of a healthy life. Not only do they help our bodies maintain critical internal functions, but they play an important role in our skin, hair and nail health. Read on to learn a little more about certain vitamins and minerals that are important to the health of your skin, hair and nails.

Vitamin D
It is synthesized in the skin in response to ultraviolet light and is also found in certain foods such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, orange juice and fortified dairy products. Vitamin D has been shown to play an important role in the activation of immune cells needed to fight infection, and recent studies have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of colon and breast cancer. Nonetheless, increasing awareness of the health risks associated with sun exposure and an increase in the number of indoor jobs have led to lower vitamin D levels in the general population.

One way to find out your vitamin D levels is to get them tested. Based on your result, your doctor can help you determine how to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through a combination of supplements and diet. Supplements are often used to replenish vitamin D levels in doses from 200 to 2,000 international units. Given the risk of skin cancer with sun exposure, most dermatological societies do not support getting vitamin D from sunlight.

Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that plays a vital role in energy metabolism by helping essential enzymes break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. While uncommon, biotin deficiency can result in brittle nails and hair loss.

Biotin can be found in foods such as raw egg yolk, liver oats, soybeans, green peas, sunflower seeds, walnuts and brown rice. Biotin supplements may be purchased over-the-counter in moderate doses or through your doctor in higher doses.

Hair loss can be a common manifestation of iron deficiency, especially in women. Other signs of iron deficiency include irritability, fatigue, and paleness. Low iron can also cause nails to curl up, the tongue to become inflamed and the mouth corners to become red and irritated (perleche).

Iron, measured in milligrams (mg), is excreted (lost from the body) from the gut, menses, and through pregnancy, delivery and nursing. A typical diet replaces only a small portion of what’s necessary to replace lost iron. The preferred method of detecting iron deficiency is by measuring the amount of ferritin, a protein found in cells circulating in the bloodstream. Ferritin serves both to store and release iron. A low ferritin level may indicate iron loss. Iron replacement therapy comes in different forms and should be managed and monitored by a physician for maximum efficacy and safety.

Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties, preventing damage to cells from the effects of naturally occurring but damaging free radicals. There are recent studies which link it to a reduction in skin cancer. It is mostly used in shampoo, cream and wash formulations targeting skin conditions such as dandruff (seborrhea), rosacea and psoriasis. It can be found in such foods as tuna, beef, Brazil nuts and vegetables grown in selenium-rich soil. Selenium deficiency is rare, typically limited to individuals with gastrointestinal disease.

Essential for immune function, taste, vision, appetite and fertility, zinc (a mineral) is also vital for skin, hair and nails, and is required in the formation of collagen. Zinc deficiency can lead to dull, thin and early graying hair. Additionally, it fosters the regeneration of skin cells and can be beneficial in healing wounds (cuts and scrapes). There is evidence that zinc can be beneficial for combating acne, eczema, psoriasis and certain types of dermatitis (inflammation of the skin).

Zinc is found in dairy products, poultry, red meat, seafood, fish, beans, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds) and fortified and whole-grain cereals. A simple blood test is all that is required to test for one’s zinc level. The recommended daily intake for zinc is 8 mg per day for women and 11mg per day for men. 


For Those Whose Lives Have Been Touched By Melanoma

Dear 16-Year-Old Me

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and change something you did as a teenager, something that changed your life forever? Please take a few minutes and watch this video. It might just change your life.


FDA Issues New Rules for Sunscreen Labeling

Read about the FDA's new rules on sunscreen labeling in the The New York Times


Learn About Sun Protective Clothing

Check out this article in the Los Angeles Times about Sun Protective Clothing,0,2959502.story


Sun Safety Precautions

• Wear sun protective clothing and hats: Ultraviolet Protective Factor (UPF) 15-24 is good, 25-39 very good, and 40-50 excellent. Normal clothing loses its protective ability when wet.

• Wear sunglasses—preferably ones with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) coverage. 

• Seek shade, but remember that one can still be burned from reflective rays and filtered sun through cloud cover. 

• Use extra caution near water, snow and sand. 

• Proper application and reapplication of sunscreen is very important. For the SPF to be achieved, apply at least one ounce (a shot glass full) on the skin, and re-apply frequently (especially after sweating, swimming or drying off with a towel). 

• Apply sunscreen on infants 6 months of age or younger only when adequate clothing and shade are not available. It is advised that sunscreen be applied only on exposed areas.

• Chemical sunscreens (includes those with active ingredients ending with -ate, and -one) may have potential for more skin irritation. 

• Titanium and Zinc oxide are inorganic, active ingredients which are physical blockers (as opposed to chemical). They are typically less irritating and providebroad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection.

• Avoid burns, sun tanning and tanning beds

Grab your hats, sunglasses and sunscreen and have a fun and sun safe summer!


Skin Care Product Buzzwords - Things To Watch Out For

You've probably seen buzzwords like "all natural," "hypoallergenic,” “non-comedogenic,” and "patented.” Do these labels really mean anything?

Cosmeceutical companies producing skin care products rely on these buzzwords because they suggest concrete benefits that don't have to be backed up by science. As long as they don't claim to change the body's structure or function, companies don't need FDA approval to market new products to the public. Nor are they required to provide any research to prove their claims.

Another common buzzword is “clinically tested.” It does not necessarily indicate that the formula was produced in a medical clinic as the manufacturers would have people believe. Clinically tested could very well indicate that the product was tested, but what was it tested for? How exactly was it tested? What were the results? Essentially, this marketing claim has very little meaning.

Here are a few commonly misunderstood terms to be on the watch for:

1. "PATENTED" Patents can be granted to companies that manufacture or combine materials in new ways (unique formulas). However, just because something is patented doesn't mean it works.

2. "ALL NATURAL" It doesn't mean the product is organic or chemical-free.

3. "ORGANIC” The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) certifies organic food ingredients found in cosmetics, but not essential oils or plants used for cosmetic purposes. To carry the USDA Organic seal, a product must contain at least 95% organic food ingredients.


4. "HYPOALLERGENIC" Think this guarantees you will not have a reaction? Think again. These products can still contain ingredients some people are allergic to, including preservatives and fragrance.


5. "FRAGRANCE FREE" These products may not have a noticeable smell, but can still contain "masking" scents to cover up ingredients with unpleasant odors. Look for the words "no fragrance added" instead.


6. "NON-COMEDOGENIC" While non-comedogenic products are usually oil-free and therefore less likely to cause breakouts, there is no guarantee they won't. In fact, many of these “non-comedogenic” products contain dimethicone, a known acne aggravator.


7. “PREVENTS PREMATURE AGING." Consumers love this statement. If a product truly prevented premature aging by affecting or altering the structure of the skin, it would be classified as a drug and therefore would require FDA approval. Manufactures work around this by utilizing the fact that sunscreens prevent premature aging by decreasing the damaging effects of ultraviolet light on the skin. Therefore, if a product contains sunscreen, it may state "prevents premature aging” on the product or label.  

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