• Fede Montagud, editor

    Killing sharks with moisturizers

    26 Nov Killing sharks with moisturizers




    This headline may seem absurd, but it isn’t. We care for our skin by diligently applying emollients, moisturizers, night creams, eye creams, etc. But many of these cosmetics contain squalene, an ingredient that is sometimes obtained from the liver oil of certain deep-sea sharks whose survival is seriously threatened by overfishing.


    Each year more than 2.7 million deep-sea sharks are fished (from depths of 2 000 metres or more) for their liver; they are also fished for their fins, cut off before the animal is returned to the sea, sometimes still alive. This cruel, unsustainable process is leading to several shark species becoming extinct. At the root of it all is the cosmetics industry, which obtains reasonably priced squalene from shark liver oil. Read More

  • Rosa Taberner, dermatologist

    When sweating is a problem

    22 Nov When sweating is a problem



    Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas


    Sweating is necessary. Sweating through the skin is the physiological response to an increase in body temperature during physical exercise or because of excessive heat. Sweat evaporation cooling the body is the mechanism by which temperature is regulated. If this mechanism fails even death may result. But some people sweat excessively and, for them, hyperhidrosis is a very annoying problem.


    The skin has three types of sweat glands. The most numerous are the eccrine glands, responsible for thermoregulation by sweating. They are distributed over all the skin, but are particularly to be found in palms, soles, armpits and the face; the apocrine glands, primarily located in the armpits, nipples and perineal area, are responsible for body odour. Humans have between two and four million eccrine sweat glands distributed all over the body surface and averaging about 600 per square centimetre. A person can sweat several litres per hour and up to ten litres in a day. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Fewer wrinkles if we sleep face up?

    16 Nov Fewer wrinkles if we sleep face up?



    Dermatologic Surgery

    Our interconnected, networked reality occasionally allows urban legends and misconceptions to proliferate rapidly. Also with regard to care of our skin. The latest myth says that sleeping position has an impact on the appearance of wrinkles on the face. True or false?


    It seems logical: if you sleep on your side and place your face against the pillow, your skin will seem to wrinkle. And especially so if you sleep face down ... Hasty conclusion: over the years these sleeping positions lead to wrinkles and enhance facial ageing by causing sagging. So, best sleep on your back, and maybe even use a U-shaped pillow to stop rolling over during the night. It has also been recommended to use satin instead of cotton pillowcases, to allow the face to slide more easily. Then a mass-circulation medium – e.g., The Huffington Post – discusses the issue and launches a chain of half-truths repeated ad nauseam in websites, print media and TV channels. Thus is the false myth created. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid

    11 Nov Contact dermatitis: substances to avoid




    Clinical Key

    Contact dermatitis is one of the ten main reasons for primary care consultations. More than 3,000 substances may cause contact dermatitis on different people’s skins. Certain cosmetics, hair dyes and shampoos contain potentially irritating components. Identifying the causative agent is crucial.


    Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin due to exposure to certain substances. Irritant contact dermatitis is when a product first produces a local toxic effect in the skin cells, whereas allergic contact dermatitis is when a substance causes an allergic reaction due to skin sensitization from repeated contact. Read More