Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Safer suntans through science

28.09.2006
Safer than sun, more natural looking than sunless tanners: Topical treatment may be the next advance in tanning

An organic compound that creates a realistic beachy glow while inducing a natural sun block effect in your skin may be just around the corner, as scientists at the University of Kentucky are testing a treatment that enhances melanin production in animal models.

"We are in the process of evaluating forskolin, a derivative of the plant Pletranthus barbatus, for safety when applied to the skin. We know it stimulates melanin, but we need to know that it does so without adverse effect. So far, results are promising," said Dr. John D'Orazio of the UK Department of Pediatrics,the Markey Cancer Center and the Graduate Center for Toxicology.

Many people use sunless tanning products to achieve a tan look without risking the UV damage that causes skin cancer and wrinkles. However, sunless tanners currently on the market use a chemical that dyes skin a brown or orange shade. With no sun protection, skin remains vulnerable to burns and damage. Some people become frustrated with the tricky application of sunless tanners (as anyone who has ever left the house with orange knees and elbows can attest) and either give up entirely, or turn to the sun and tanning beds. Getting a tan either by sitting out in the sun or in a tanning bed currently comes with the bad side effects of ultraviolet radiation, namely sun spots, skin thickening and skin cancer. This new approach uses a lotion that fools the skin into thinking it has been out in the sun (causing natural tanning to happen) without the bad side effects of UV light.

Even those who do not desire a tanned look and use copious amounts of sun block may be at risk of skin cancer, as sun blocks require constant re-application, fade as they are exposed to sunlight, and often protect only against UVB rays, not the UVA rays blamed for some skin cancers and photo-aging of skin.

People with more melanin in their skin have darker skin that is naturally more resistant to sun damage because the melanin which is actually part of the epidermis acts as a wonderful natural sunscreen against all kinds of UV radiation. The compound being tested at the University of Kentucky actually stimulates skin to produce more of its own melanin.

The result is not only a biologically authentic, natural-looking tan, but also increased protection from the sun. Although all of the work thus far has been done in an animal model of "humanized skin", D'Orazio and his team showed that the skin of a pale individual can be made to mimic the sun-resistant skin of another with a naturally darker complexion. Effects are temporary and last only as long as the lotion is applied, so people could build up their melanin production in advance of prolonged sun exposure such as a trip to the beach. Researchers are touting this approach as a novel way to protect individuals from cancer-causing sun damage.

"What is exciting to us as scientists and physicians is the possibility of reducing skin cancer by making skin more impervious to UV damage. The cosmetic effect does have a lot of people excited and that's great too. If this keeps even one person from going to a tanning bed and increasing their risk for skin cancer, then it will serve its purpose," said D'Orazio.

Allison Elliott | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uky.edu
http://www.uky.edu/OPBPA/Top20.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>