The controversy over sunlight benefit versus danger rumbles on, with new data on both sides of the question. From the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, two very different pieces of information stand out favoring cautious sunlight protection. A study recently reported showing an increase in the incidence of melanoma for people who had used tanning beds before the age of 35. Early damage from excessive light exposure shows up later.
Other studies reported showed that exposure to two times the MED (the minimal amount of light necessary to cause redness of the skin) caused 100 times the amount of messenger RNA for collagenase (the enzyme which breaks down collagen in skin.) Collagen is the fibrous substance which gives the skin its shape and strength.
Breakdown of collagen is associated with aging and wrinkles. One half the amount of sunlight necessary to cause redness increased the collagenase activity fourfold.
Furthermore, even one tenth the amount of sunlight exposure necessary to cause redness caused some increase in collagenase activity.
All of the data which was presented demonstrated the various aspects of the process of sun damage leading to aging, at the molecular level. The speaker is a respected authority on the science of skin aging, so the data appears valid. I have reviewed other studies in the past which show similar findings, which also lends credibility to his argument. I will discuss the benefits of sunlight and vitamin D production in later blogs, which inform the other side of this
controversy. If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, I will email you the top five tips to minimize the effects of solar damage.
Regardless of controversy, sun exposure is a double edged sword with both benefits and dangers. Living a full life exposes us to both those benefits and dangers; finding the right balance and using protective supplements and
topical antioxidants is the best we can do.To your health,