Vitamin D May Ease Sunburns by Reducing Skin Damage

Image result for Vitamin D May Ease Sunburns by Reducing Skin DamageA high dosage of vitamin D after your next sunburn could mean the difference between weeks of agony and a quick recovery.

After exposing 20 participants to a small UV lamp sunburn on the inside of their arms, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio analyzed how vitamin D helped reduce inflammation. Kurt Lu, senior author and professor of Dermatology at the university and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said the results depended on the dose each participant was given.

Credit: Phil Kates/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

“We found benefits from vitamin D were dose-dependent,” Lu said in a press release. “We hypothesize that vitamin D helps promote protective barriers in the skin by rapidly reducing inflammation. What we did not expect was that at a certain dose, vitamin D not only was capable of suppressing inflammation, it was also activating skin repair genes.”

The participants were given either a placebo pill or 50,000, 100,000 or 200,000 IU of vitamin D an hour after exposure to the UV lamp. Researchers checked in with the participants up to a week after the experiment and collected skin biopsies for further testing.

Related: Vitamin D Deficiency May Cause Early Menopause

“The diverse immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D are increasingly being recognized. However, the ability of oral vitamin D to modulate acute inflammation has not been recognized,” the researchers said.

Those who received the largest dose of vitamin D experienced reduced skin inflammation, less epidermal structural damage and reduced expression of pro-inflammatory markers within the skin two days after being exposed to the UV lamp. Participants who had the highest blood levels of vitamin D experienced reduced skin redness and increased gene activity associated with skin cell repair.

“The data may have broad implications for immunotherapeutic properties of vitamin D in skin homeostasis and implicate … regulation as a previously unreported mechanism by which vitamin D exerts anti-inflammatory effects in humans,” the researchers said.

Related: Scientists Create Topical Drug That Tans Skin

The participants were separated into two clusters based on similarities in their gene expression profiles and differed significantly in their vitamin D levels after treatment. Every individual’s response to vitamin D depended on his/her age, BMI, baseline vitamin D stores and genetic variations.

The researchers suggested that vitamin D has other additional benefits, such as reducing DNA damage. Since vitamin D is relatively cost-effective, the treatment could be used in the near future as an easy fix to sun-related skin damage.

“The simplicity and safety of high dose oral vitamin D treatment, combined with its rapid and sustained therapeutic efficacy, suggest that these proof-of-concept findings may ultimately be translated to routine clinical use once larger studies are performed on diverse populations of subjects,” the researchers said.

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Tips and Tricks for Reducing Epilating Pain

When seeking to remove hair from the body, it is a well-known fact that epilators do a much better job than shaving. However, they are also known to be more painful than shaving so if you are looking for ways to reduce the pain, here are some tips and tricks you could try.

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Photo by Amy

Why It Hurts to Use an Epilator

Oddly, there really are reasons why epilators can cause a bit of pain. No, don’t be frightened as it isn’t unbearable like childbirth, but it hurts nonetheless. What happens is that the epilator literally plucks the hair which causes pain activators to be activated. They, in turn, send signals to the brain via nerves in the spine. This is the point when you say ‘Ouch!’ So the key is to find a way to reduce the sensation of plucking which is the ultimate cause of the sensation of pain.

Tip #1 Epilate on Wet Skin

There are models of epilators that can be used wet or dry. This is what you want to get when trying to epilate under water, and warm water works best. Just the very nature of how water literally floats the hair is often enough to ease the pain but also, wet hair follicles are softened enough to be relaxed, thus releasing the hair more easily.

Tip #2 Keep the Skin Taught

You know that when you pluck your eyebrows you always stretch the skin. The same principle applies here. By stretching the skin taught you will be reducing the pain caused when the epilator ‘plucks’ at hairs with its tiny tweezers.

Tip #3 Squeezing Also Works

Although it isn’t readily obvious why pinching the area around the skin you are epilating works, it really does. Have you ever had a splinter in your foot or finger? What did your mother do? That’s right! She pinched the skin to either side of the splinter before attempting to pluck it out. The reason this helps to reduce pain is because you are literally pinching off the nerves which then can’t send signals up the spine and to the brain. Pretty cool, right?

Tip #4 Wax First – Epilate Second

Many women find that by using waxing sheets on their legs first it hurts less when they epilate. Of course you need to find a way to dull the pain when you pull the waxed sheet off your leg but if you do it very quickly there is less pain. Imagine pulling at your hair over a period of seconds before it comes free from your head versus taking one strand and plucking it free. Which hurts less? Yes, of course the hair that you quickly pulled free. That’s why waxing helps ease the pain when epilating.

Tip #5 Good Old Fashioned Lidocaine

When all else fails, go to your local pharmacy and get a tube of lidocaine cream. You can also apply sunburn relief spray that also has a lidocaine base but the trick here is to give it a few minutes to do its job numbing the skin and nerves beneath but not too long where it will lose potency.

So here you have five easy ways to ease the pain caused by your epilator. There is just one more tip that should be mentioned and that is to get the best quality epilator you can afford. The better the quality, the better it will perform its function and for you that equates to less pain. As the old cliché says, you have to suffer a bit to be beautiful so just think how great you’ll look when you’ve finished removing all that hair!

Outdoor light has role in reducing short-sightedness in kids

Increasing exposure to outdoor light is the key to reducing the myopia (short-sightedness) epidemic in children, according to ground-breaking research by Australian optometrists.

Optometrist and lead researcher on the project, Associate Professor Scott Read who is the director of research at QUT’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, said children need to spend more than an hour and preferably at least two hours a day outside to help prevent myopia from developing and progressing.

Speaking at the Australian Vision Convention in Queensland on the weekend, Professor Read said it was not ‘near work’ on computer and other screens causing myopia, but a lack of adequate outdoor light.

“While screens are contributing to children spending more time indoors than in previous years, the research shows they are not the direct cause of the increased incidence of myopia,” he said.

“Optometrists need to make their patients aware that less than 60 minutes’ exposure to light outdoors per day is a risk factor for myopia.

“It looks like even for those with myopia already, increasing time outside is likely to reduce progression.”

Optometry Australia president Kate Gifford said “this new finding is of significant importance in our endeavour to mitigate the growing rate of myopia in children.”

In February, it was announced that half the world’s population will be short-sighted by 2050 with many at risk of blindness.

The global study, published by the Brien Holden Vision Institute, forecasts that 10 per cent of the world’s population will be at risk of blindness by 2050 if steps are not taken to stop myopia turning into high myopia (requiring glasses with a prescription of minus five or stronger).

The QUT study measured children’s eye growth via study participants wearing wristwatch light sensors to record light exposure and physical activity for a fortnight during warmer then colder months to give an overall measurement of their typical light exposure.

“Children exposed to the least outdoor light had faster eye growth and hence faster myopia progression,” Professor Read said.

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