It makes sense that July is UV Safety Month as that’s when the sun shines the most. Practicing UV safety is important because the sun’s rays can be quite harmful and can spoil your enjoyable summertime with unpleasant surprises. We want to make sure that you get the most out of your time in the sun without any repercussions, so we compiled a list of articles that deal with UV safety and other summer-related issues like rosacea, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, high blood pressure, and, of course, allergies.
We hope you find these articles helpful and enjoyable, and that you take away some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe.
Rosacea risk is linked to genes, obesity, heart disease and sun exposure. The study suggested that environmental factors and genetics play a 50/50 role in the risk of rosacea, a chronic skin disorder. Lead author Dr. Daniel Popkin said, “Fifty-fifty is not a complete surprise in retrospect, but we just didn’t know. We now have strong evidence for the first time that there is clearly a genetic contribution.”
If a person has a strong family history of rosacea “more attention should be paid to environmental factors, and seeking medical advice can help quite a bit. Lifestyle choices can definitely attenuate [reduce the severity of the] disease,” Dr. Popkin said.
An estimated 16 million Americans live with rosacea.
Rosacea causes reddening of the skin, particularly the face, along with bumps, visible blood vessels, and watery eyes. If left untreated, it can impact one’s quality of life. In surveys of rosacea patients, nine out of 10 patients report self-confidence and self-esteem issues.
To understand the cause of rosacea, the researchers studied 275 pairs of twins who completed lifestyle and medical history surveys, and went for dermatological testing prior to getting their rosacea score.
The researchers concluded that genetics is responsible for a 46 percent risk of rosacea development. Risk for rosacea was greater with sun exposure, older age, higher body mass index, smoking, drinking, heart disease, and skin cancer.
Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, suggests that a person can still reduce their risk of rosacea. Eichenfield said, “You can’t change your genetics without changing who your parents were, but you can [avoid smoking] and not get too much sun.”
“If you have signs of rosacea, or think you might, such as having a family history, get educated about it and consider moderating UV exposure, alcohol, and foods that might cause flushing,” Eichenfield concluded. Continue reading…
Endometriosis risk may be higher with benzophenone-type ingredients in sunscreen. Benzophenone (BP) can mimic the effects of estrogen, which can increase the risk of endometriosis – a condition in which the uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, causing severe pain and reproductive issues.
Sunscreen and other products that contain benzophenone-type ingredients are effective at blocking harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Small amounts of BP can permeate through the skin and get absorbed into the blood where it mimics estrogen. Estrogen is the key player in endometriosis.
Researchers studied urine samples of 625 women to measure BP levels. All participants underwent surgery for endometriosis. The researchers found high levels of BP called 2,4OH-BP, which is associated with endometriosis. The researchers concluded, “Our results invite the speculation that exposure to elevated 2,4OH-BP levels may be associated with endometriosis.” Continue reading…
Fibromyalgia symptoms in women are not affected by weather conditions, like temperature, precipitation, or sunshine. The findings published in Arthritis Care and Research suggested that changes in temperature could impact fibromyalgia symptoms, but the latest findings found no such impact.
First author Ercolie Bossema said, “Many fibromyalgia patients report that certain weather conditions seem to aggravate their symptoms. Previous research has investigated weather conditions and changes in fibromyalgia symptoms, but an association remains unclear.”
The team looked at 333 female patients with fibromyalgia who completed questionnaires about their pain and fatigue over a 28-day period. Researchers recorded temperature, sunshine duration, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity for each day.
In 10 percent of analyses, weather conditions had a small effect on fatigue and pain. In 20 percent of analyses, researchers found small differences to patients’ reaction to weather conditions, for example, experiencing greater pain with either low or high atmospheric pressure.
Dr. Bossema concluded, “Our analyses provide more evidence against, than in support of, the daily influence of weather on fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. This study is the first to investigate the impact of weather on fibromyalgia symptoms in a large cohort, and our findings show no association between specific fibromyalgia patient characteristics and weather sensitivity.”
The researchers suggest further analysis into patients’ personality traits, beliefs about chronic pain, and attitude towards weather conditions and symptoms be conducted in order to explain differences between fibromyalgia symptoms and changes in weather. Continue reading…
How does it work? NO is abundant in the skin, so exposure to sunlight causes small amounts of NO to be released from the skin into circulation, lowering and balancing the body’s blood pressure. Since blood pressure is linked directly to the occurrence of heart disease and heart attacks, exposure to sunlight can aid in their prevention. It’s time to get outside, with your sunscreen applied for protection against the harmful UV rays. Instead of popping pills, you could be out walking to get your sun fix. Simple, easy and absolutely free!
Many people try to limit their exposure to sunlight because of skin cancer fears. However, the study researchers suggest that reducing and limiting exposure may prove more harmful than helpful, increasing the risk of conditions related to heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
To put this in a global context, cardiovascular disease is associated with high blood pressure levels, and accounts for close to 30 percent of worldwide deaths each year; higher incidents are reported during the winter months, especially in countries further from the equator. Again, these observations suggest that sunlight plays a role in heart health.
The British study involved 24 healthy individuals whose skin was exposed to artificial ultraviolet (UVA) light from sun lamps for two sessions of 20 minutes each. In the first session, the volunteers were exposed to both the UV rays and the heat emanating from the lamps. In the second session, the UV rays were blocked so that only the heat of the lamps came in contact with the skin. Continue reading…
The summer season can be a fun time for children, but you surely want to protect them from harmful effects of the sun and allergies. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. children suffer from nasal allergies, which are characterized by sneezing and a study or runny nose. The odds of your child suffering from allergies are greater if you or your spouse suffer from allergies, too.
In order to lessen the stress allergies can bring, it’s important to be aware of what your child is allergic to, meaning you should have them tested so you know what to avoid. It’s also essential that you pay close attention to pollen counts, which are typically highest in the evening hours.
Another helpful strategy is to keep windows and doors closed and use air conditioning in order to prevent pollen and other allergy triggers from entering the home. Even allergy shots have come a long way to provide your child with longer relief. Dr. Jay Slater said, “In the last 20 years, there has been a remarkable transformation in allergy treatments. Kids used to be miserable for months out of the year, and drugs made them incredibly sleepy. But today’s products offer proven approaches for relief of seasonal allergy symptoms.” Continue reading…