Gray Hair and Stress

6a00e55255b4628834017eea94cb01970d-200wi“You’re giving me gray hair!” a cry that I’m sure I was not the only one who heard this from their mother when their difficult behavior caused her stress. True or not, it all sounded a little like a folk tale, until now. New studies from the laboratory of Dr. Robert Lefkowitz at Duke University show that chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone adrenaline damage the DNA in specific ways that could lead to a spectrum of conditions from gray hair to tumor formation.

The damage was shown to break down p53 protein, the protein that protects the genome against cancer by helping potential cancer cells either repair their cancerous nature, or self-destruct.

In this report in the August 21 issue of the journal Nature, they also showed more detail of the pathway by which adrenaline cause this damage. This included the role of a molecule called beta–arrestin-1 in the process of causing the damage.Two major conferences were held at the New York Academy of Science in the late 1960’s on the effects of psychological factors in causing cancer. An impression of this effect was present for a long time, and supported by numerous studies.

This recent paper by Lefkowitz brings a new level of proof and understanding to the relationship between chronic, excessive stress and the onset of gray hair and cancer. While other factors certainly contribute to onset of these conditions, we can now pinpoint one factor over which we may have some control.
Exercise, meditation, breathing exercises and other stress-management techniques may contribute to longer, healthier, and less gray lives.
To your health,Dr. Alan M. Dattner
Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Five Tips for Dry Winter Skin

This winter, be sure to protect your skin from the sun, snow, and wind.  Here are five tips for your best dry skin protection.

To your health,

Alan M Dattner, MD


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.

Acne Rosacea – What’s Getting Under Your Skin?

6a00e55255b462883401a3fcb2f206970b-200wiTreating your acne rosacea naturally can bring up a bit of shock. People are often horrified to find out that there are tiny organisms living in the follicles on their nose and the center of their face. Some of those organisms include tiny mites that burrow into the hair follicles with their tail sticking out.

These mites, known as Demodex, are shaped like tiny cigars, with legs at one end. Identifying an abundance of them under the microscope after scraping the skin can be very helpful for the treating dermatologist, and for the patient as well.

Nevertheless, they can bring up great disgust when the patient sees them, wiggling under the microscope after being scraped off their skin. There is an old morbid old children’s rhyme: “the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout.” Sounds like rosacea to me.

What’s more, these mites have bacteria living inside of them, which may be a stimulation for the inflammation seen in rosacea. To top that off, this is only the beginning of the list of organisms living in the hair follicles that are suspected to play a role in causing rosacea. Treating rosacea naturally can be the safest, longest-lasting way to clear it. More on treatment methods in the next blog.

To your health,

Dr. Alan Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine