Prevention Category

07May

Tanorexic

Photo Credit: HLNTv

 

The news has exploded in the last few days with reports of a New Jersey mother being arrested for child endangerment after being accused of taking her daughter to a tanning salon.

Pictures have surfaced of the accused, Patricia Krentzil, showing a woman who literally looks burnt to a crisp. Many say that Krentzil suffers from an illness dubbed “tanorexia”, or an addiction to tanning. While Krentzil and her lawyer maintain that she is not addicted to tanning, her habits paint a different picture. The owner of the tanning salon where Krentzil frequents revealed that she tans on average five days a week for the maximum of 12 minutes each session.

What is most alarming is that Krentzil is exposing her child to her own addiction, playing an active role in influencing her daughter’s habits. A study conducted last year at East Tennessee State University investigated the indoor tanning habits of more than 200 university students. Researchers found that young women whose first indoor tanning experience was their mother were 4.6 times more likely to become heavy tanners.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tanning beds emit UVA that in 12 times that of the sun. Extended exposure to UV radiation significantly increases one’s risk of skin cancer; people who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.


28Feb

Say Goodbye to Goggle Tans

This late in the season, ski and snowboard enthusiasts everywhere are trying to squeeze in as much slope time as possible before we collectively bid adieu to our lionesque weather and say hello to a more lamblike climate. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen though; whether on a snowy mountain or a sandy beach, UV rays are still cause for concern. UV rays, sneaky as they are, can travel through glass, clouds and reflect off of water, snow and ice.

Recently published research tells us that though UV rays from the sun aren’t as strong in the winter months as they are in the summer, there is still a need to protect one’s self. Two of the biggest factors affecting UV levels are time of day and time of year. UV radiation is strongest around noon and weakest around the winter solstice (December 21st). Another consideration is that UV levels vary rapidly as the weather changes. Even on a cloudy day, UV levels are still perceptible; on a clear day, UV levels are downright dangerous.

It seems that winter sport aficionados are more vulnerable to UV rays than originally thought, so regardless of weather conditions, always remember to keep regularly applying sunscreen to any exposed skin. And when it is sunny out, don’t forget to wear a hat, protective clothing and lip balm. Overexposure can in turn cause sunburn, photoaging (aging of skin due to UV rays) and skin cancer.

Hardcore “shredders” may wear their goggle tans with pride, but successfully protecting yourself from the sun is paramount in preventing skin damage and truly owning the slopes.


21Feb

Jack Frost-Bite

 

Photo Credit: Pasukaru76

The cold weather may send some people into hibernation, but for others, the frosty climate is a wakening, a catalyst to step outside and enjoy a myriad of activities. Tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding and skating all become possible when the temperature drops. Exercise caution and awareness, however, as one of the biggest dangers to unprotected skin in frigid weather is frostbite or frostnip.

Frostnip occurs when the top layer of the skin freezes, but the underlying tissue is not damaged. Frostbite is more severe and occurs when all layers of the skin become frozen damaging tissue in the process. Areas that are vulnerable are our extremities, or the areas furthest from the heart, such as the fingers, toes or tips of the nose or ears.

To prevent frostbite, there are some quick tips for staying warm and protected:

  • Wear layers that are loose, light and comfortable: your first layer should wick moisture from your body, the second should act as insulation and the third should be warm and waterproof
  • Protect your feet and toes with socks and boots
  • Wear a hat, mittens or gloves and a scarf
  • Stay dry and change if any clothing gets wet
  • Keep hydrated
  • Don`t stay out for extended periods of time in extremely cold weather

Knowing the symptoms of oncoming frostbite can also prevent tissue damage. If you are outside and your skin starts to sting, burn, ache or throb, head indoors. Do not warm the skin with hot water or rub it. Try to gently warm the area by holding it to another warm body area (e.g. armpit). If your skin has become hard, pale, cold or feels numb and heavy, seek medical attention.


03Oct

Anti-Aging Media Event

AvantDerm is pleased to host Toronto beauty editors and bloggers for a media day, outlining the newest in La Roche-Posay products and the latest in other advancements in anti-aging.

Products and treatments claiming to turn back the clock, reverse wrinkles and make you look ten years younger saturate the market, yet often time the science to support the claims fails to exist. Dr. Singh is experienced in the latest innovations in anti-aging treatment and is excited to share this know-how!

 


02Sep

Tantastic?

Photo Credit: Wakey Wakey News

The complexions of Jersey Shore cast members may leave something to be desired, but is there some basis to their overzealous and compulsive affinity towards artificial tanning?

Doctors at Emory University conducted a study evaluating the effects of a tanned complexion on the public’s perception of attractiveness. Using the popular internet website, HotorNot.com, a picture of each subject was taken and doctored to represent an “untanned” complexion. This image was submitted to the website and guests were invited to rate the subject based on personal attraction. The image was then given an artificial tan and re-uploaded to the website and the new rating was captured.

The study concluded that of the population that logged onto the website, the image considered to be “tanned” was rated higher, and thus, more attractive.

North American tanning culture has exploded in the last decade, despite the increased awareness of the risks associated with this behaviour including a heightened risk of skin cancer. Much misinformation is spread, but it is important to remember that skin damage doesn’t discriminate between light from the Sun and light from a tanning bed. Make sure you wear sunscreen at all times and avoid going to indoor tanning salons altogether. Skin cancer and premature aging are preventable, so take measures to protect yourself against UV rays. And regardless of your skin tone, dermatologists around the world agree that the best colour of all is au natural.


30May

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Photo Credit: INFphoto.com & The Huffington Post

According to a recent survey, mothers and daughters may have a somewhat surprising point of accord in their respective indoor tanning habits. Researchers appealed East Tennessee State University students, investigating their indoor tanning habits. The survey was formed such that two important facts were determined from participants: the age at which they began to tan artificially and who was present during their first visit.

Out of 227 female students surveyed, approximately 40% had gotten their first tan with their mothers present. On average, these women started tanning at age 14. Of the women who began tanning with some other partner (i.e. friend, acquaintance, independently), the average onset age was 16.

Another curious finding was that women who were introduced to tanning through their mothers were five times more likely to be frequent tanners later on in life. Frequent tanners were classified as those who tanned artificially two or more times per month.

Whether due to lack of awareness of the associated risks or a higher value placed on tanned skin, women are putting themselves at undue risk by using tanning beds. Exposing oneself to harmful UV rays drastically increases the odds of skin damage and disease, not limited to skin cancer. Additionally, skin damage increases the likelihood of premature ageing significantly.

In 2009, the World Health Organization classified tanning bed exposure as a Class 1 carcinogen, the same class as arsenic and tobacco. Much the same way that parents try to prevent their children from engaging in other harmful behaviours, so should they when it comes to tanning.


14May

Not All Beer And Skittles

Photo Credit: Pabst Blue Ribbon

After a long day at the office, do you ever get the urge to go home, plant yourself on the couch and kick back with a cold beer? Sadly for women everywhere, this behaviour may increase the risk of developing psoriasis. Researchers at Harvard University and the affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted a study testing the relationship between alcohol consumption and the incidence of psoriasis in women and whether the risk was associated with different types of liquor.

Using the data collected by nurses over a 15 year period, over 1000 cases of incident psoriasis were examined. The results showed that the risk of psoriasis was affected by the amount and type of alcoholic beverage. According to the statistical analysis used in the study, women who consumed more than 2.3 alcoholic beverages per week were at added risk of developing the disease, but only if the beverage was non-light beer. If the consumption increased to 5 or more non-light beers, women were 1.8 times more likely to develop psoriasis.

Wine, liquor and light beer were not significantly linked to increases in risk, leading researchers to believe that there are certain non-alcoholic components of non-light beers that account for the added risk. One such component may be barley, the starch source used for fermenting the beer. This particular method of fermentation is unique to few types of alcohols, including beer. Barley contains gluten, which has been previously shown to be connected with psoriasis. Although light beer also contains barley, lesser amounts of grain are used in its; thus the amount of gluten in the beer is also reduced.

No need to give up the bottle altogether, but as the saying goes, a non-non-light beer a day keeps the doctor away.