New Cream May Lead To Non Sun-Induced Tanning

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David E. Fisher MD, PhD</strong> Edward Wigglesworth Professor & Chairman Dept of Dermatology Director, Melanoma Program MGH Cancer Center Director, Cutaneous Biology Research Center Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114

Dr. Fisher

David E. Fisher MD, PhD
Edward Wigglesworth Professor & Chairman
Dept of Dermatology
Director, Melanoma Program MGH Cancer Center
Director, Cutaneous Biology Research Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02114

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study grew from an interest to mimic the dark pigmentation patterns in human skin which are known from epidemiology to be associated with low skin cancer risk. In the current work, a molecular inhibitor of the SIK enzyme was used to block the inhibitory action of SIK relative to melanin synthesis. The result was stimulation of dark pigmentation within human skin.

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New Compounds May Extend Efficiency of Sunscreens

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Diego Sampedro PhD

Dr. Diego Sampedro

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Diego Sampedro PhD
Department of Chemistry, Centro de Investigación en Síntesis Química (CISQ)
Universidad de La Rioja
Logroño, Spain

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Skin cancer is currently the most common type of cancer. While it implies a relatively low mortality rate, the reported cases of all types of skin cancer have been steadily increasing for the last decades. The ozone layer depletion and longer sunlight exposure times due to outdoors activities contribute to this increase. Solar light is well-known to lead to several skin cellular problems, including DNA damage, mutations, oxidative stress, sunburn and immune suppression. These deleterious effects of sunlight may be mitigated by the use of sunscreens.

Sunscreens are inorganic or organic substances that are directly applied onto the skin, designed to minimize light transmission into the skin, mainly in the ultraviolet region of the solar spectrum. However, serious concerns exist about the safety of several commercial sunscreens components, as well as several drawbacks due to the lack of stability, biodegradability and effectiveness for skin protection. Thus, the development of new (and more efficient) types of sunscreens is of critical importance with a great potential impact in public health and industrial applications.

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99% of Dermatologists Recommend Sunscreen Use to Their Family and Friends

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aaron S. Farberg, MD

Department of Dermatology
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Regular sunscreen use is a critical component of sun protection and has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk. However, there have often been conflicting sunscreen messages (sometimes without scientific support) that have led to confusion by the public. Controversy has also emerged surrounding the safety and possibility of adverse effects from various sunscreen ingredients. The purpose of this study was to determine US dermatologists’ actual sunscreen perceptions, potential safety concerns as well as their recommendations and personal usage.

Our study found that dermatologists have an overall positive view of sunscreen. 97% of dermatologists agree that regular sunscreen use helps lower skin cancer risk, 100% agree that it reduces subsequent photoaging, and 99% recommend their family/friends use sunscreen. Nearly all (96%) consider FDA approved sunscreens currently available in the US to be safe and (99%) believe their patients generally under-apply sunscreen.

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Chemical Sunscreens May Reduce Male Fertility

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anders Rehfeld MD, PhD Student
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Human fertility is declining in many areas of the world and the reason is largely unknown. Our study shows that 44% of the tested chemical UV filters can induce calcium signals in human sperm cells, thereby mimicking the effect of progesterone. Progesterone-induced calcium signals, and the sperm functions it triggers, is absolutely essential for the human sperm cell to normally fertilise the human egg.

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Biopolymers from Algae May Provide Broad Spectrum Photoprotection

Susana C. M. Fernandes, PhD
Researcher (Individual Marie Curie Fellowship – IEF) and
Professor Vincent Bulone
Division of Glycoscience, School of Biotechnology
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden and
ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite campus, Urrbrae, South Australia Australia

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have exploited unique properties of natural compounds to develop novel materials that are capable of absorbing both UV-A and UV-B radiations. The active UV-absorbing molecules are known as mycosporines and mycosporines like-amino acids and they occur in different organisms such as algae, photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria) and some fish species that thrive in, e.g., the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. These compounds were combined with a carbohydrate polymer found in the shells of crustaceans, the exoskeleton of insects and the cell walls of fungi. Chitosan provided a matrix on which mycosporines were attached using a simple chemical method already used for other purposes in, e.g., the pharmaceutical industry. Chitosan can typically be extracted from food waste such as the shells of shrimps. The immobilization of mycosporines on chitosan allowed the development of unique materials that have many potential applications relevant to a wide range of sectors, including cosmetics, sunscreen creams, wound dressings, plasticizers in paints and varnishes, coatings of outdoor furniture and other materials such as fabrics for shades, textiles, car dashboards, etc. In addition to being highly efficient for protection against UV-A and UV-B, the materials were shown to be photostable, thermoresistant and biocompatible. Compared to existing sunblock formulations, the materials have no detrimental effects on health and the environment. They are also fully recyclable.

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Chinese Licorice May Enhance Skin Protection From Sun Exposure

MedicalResearch.com interview with:
J. Kühnl, D. Roggenkamp, G. Neufang
.
Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg

MedicalResearch:What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The skin is constantly challenged by environmental stressors that induce inflammatory processes, resulting in skin damage and –in the long term- consequently aging processes. UV-irradiation is an important exogeneous stressor. Even the best filter systems do not completely abolish the impact of UV radiation. For example, after application of a SPF50+ sun lotion, about 2% of UV-rays still reach the skin. However, the skin developed strategies to cope with exogenous stressors: Intracellular thiols quench harmful UV-derived free radicals and a multitude of detoxifying enzymes convert noxious compounds and metabolites into harmless species.

We strived to specifically stimulate these cytoprotective cellular systems in order to tip the balance in favor of more robust skin cells.

Previous studies showed that the root extract of the plant Glycyrrhiza inflata (Chinese Licorice) exhibits anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. The major phenolic constituent of the licorice extract is Licochalcone A (LicA) and this compound is largely responsible for the beneficial effects. This was explained by LicA´s inhibitory effect on the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NFkB and its antioxidant properties.

However, in this study, we could add another facet of LicA´s efficacy: by activating the transcription factor Nrf2, LicA stimulates the expression of cytoprotective enzymes such as heme oxygenase I and the key enzyme of glutathione synthesis, resulting in increased intracellular thiols concentrations. Consequently, when pre-incubated with LicA, isolated human skin cells were more robust against solar simulated light-induced cellular damage, indicated by a significantly decrease in the generation of free radicals in vitro. In a translational approach, we conducted a study with healthy volunteers demonstrating that the application of a lotion containing LicA-rich root extract on the inner forearms for two weeks protected the skin from UV-provoked oxidative stress.

Thus the cellular effects of licorice are able to provide a protective shield from sun exposure, supporting and going beyond the action of sunscreens regarding sun protection. Continue reading