• Fede Montagud, editor

    Aspirin for skin cancer

    25 Sep Aspirin for skin cancer




    Too much sun is the main cause of skin ageing. It also leads to the development of melanoma, the most malignant form of skin cancer. A recent study links aspirin use to a lower incidence of melanoma in women.


    For decades, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has been used to lower the risk of heart disease and of bowel cancer, with millions of people around the world taking a small dose daily. The findings of a recent study published in Cancer would seem to attribute new benefits to the modest and traditional aspirin. The research was conducted in the USA over a period of 12 years on almost 60 000 postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 79 years. The results show that taking aspirin reduces the likelihood of melanoma – the most serious of the skin cancers – by 21%. No doubt this is good news, but further research is needed to confirm that these results are generally applicable. Meanwhile, just remember that the most important thing is to protect our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. With or without aspirin

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Redheads are more prone to melanoma

    9 Apr Redheads are more prone to melanoma



    Scientific American

    Redheads are more prone to melanoma (the most malignant skin cancer), even if they avoid sunbathing. The cause is genetic. The type of melanin they produce – the pigment responsible for red hair and white skin – makes them prone to developing melanoma, even if they avoid ultraviolet rays.


    People with freckles and red hair are well aware that they are more prone to skin damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays through sunburn and photo-ageing. But a US study published in Nature regarding research conducted in mice also demonstrates that redheads tend to develop melanomas. The source is in a gene (MC1R) that controls pigmentation in mammals: when less active, it produces the reddish-yellowish phaeomelanin and, when more active, it produces the brownish-black eumelanin. The research indicates that the phaeomelanin pigment itself could cause melanoma. The authors stress, however, that the most important factor for the skin is to minimize exposure to ultraviolet rays, irrespective of our skin colour.

  • Elisabet Salmerón, science journalist

    Fake tanning: bronzed skin, no cancer risk

    28 Mar Fake tanning: bronzed skin, no cancer risk




    Mayo Clinic

    Fake tanning products are the perfect solution for people who like to have a bronzed skin all year round, yet want to reduce the negative effects of solar radiation and prevent skin cancer. Here we consider the advantages and disadvantages.


    Current sunless tanning products have come a long way since the first such products were launched on the market in the 1960s. Such products were not entirely successful, however, due to the uneven and orangeish tan they produced. Current tanning products not only give a more natural, long-lasting colour, they cater for all tastes and skin types. They come in different forms (cream, gel, spray, wipe, etc) and often offer additional benefits (as moisturizers, sunscreens, anti-wrinkle products, etc). Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    Men: the weaker sex (in their skin at least)

    Contrary to popular belief, men's skin is more fragile than women’s skin. Dry skin, ingrown hair and persistent redness are some of the problems faced by men who shave. But there’s much more. Men's skin is more sensitive to the harmful effects of the sun and is more susceptible to cancer.


    We can distinguish the sex of a young person just by observing and touching a square centimetre of skin. Men’s and women’s skin react in specific ways to internal aggression (infections, hormonal changes) and external agression (temperature and humidity changes, shaving, cosmetics). The differences are in part due to steroid hormones that travel through the blood to bind to proteins in the skin, where they act. However, we now also know that lifestyle and approach to skin care have a bearing on the health and appearance of our skin. Read More