Top Form Tuesday: If Some Medications Worsen Sunburn Can We Reverse Engineer Sun Protection?

Image result for beach ballThe most dramatic sunburn reactions may occur as a result of not only sun exposure without proper sunscreen protection, but the most dramatic burns can come from exposure to what we call phototoxic drugs or topical photosensitizer substances. Some people also inherently are at risk for more sunburn and in individuals with genetic disorders conferring an increased sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Other compounds naturally exaggerate this effect and can actually enhance one's tan just by taking a pill. So it stands to reason, if there are foods or medications we consume or use, that can worsen sunburn, what about the concept that we can design something we take to prevent sunburn. Well, be on the look out, as those products are beginning to be marketed. In today's New York Times there is an article about products claiming to be a food substance to combat damaging effects of UV rays from the sun. Specifically there are essentially vitamin-rich drinks that are said to help the skin be protected from and able to heal damage from sun exposure. The so call oral sunscreen edible concoctions have not been found to be harmful, although all herbals may have the potential to interact with medications or other supplements that you already consume. The professors, including the well known Dr. Darrell Rigel who has done research in how ozone layer depletion affects our skin, quoted in the article are skeptical that oral sunscreen products could ever work. At Hada Cosmetic Medicine we do agree healthy skin is able to both withstand and heal from all environmental damage. And the healthiest skin is able to do so with proper moisture and antioxidant protection. For sun protection, Dr. Suzanne Trupin, of Women's Health Practice, recommends both UVA and UVB protection that can be achieved by the best sun screens available. To the extent that our food, nutrition, lifestyle, and physical fitness levels help skin be healthy, then yes, products that enhance those factors will have a beneficial skin effect.  Steroid compounds, called cortiosteroids, can heal sunburn, so it may be possible to consume low dose steroids to help prevent sunburn, but this strategy is full of potenial harmful side effects! We feel strongly that proper skin anti-oxidation and moisture is accomplished by effective skin products and skin care.

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