• Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Protecting the skin from infrared radiation

    We are well aware of the adverse effects of the sun’s radiation on our skin and blame ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB). To reduce its impact we use sunscreens and limit sunbathing. But the sun's infrared rays can also penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin.

     

    Sunlight is composed of ultraviolet light (7%) and visible light (38%), but infrared (IR) light, at 54%, represents the most important fraction. Depending on the wavelength, IR radiation is classified into three types: IRA, IRB and IRC. Both UV and visible light are attenuated by melanin, a substance secreted in the top layers of skin. However, IRA rays can pass through to the deeper layers of the skin. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Sunscreens are not enough to avoid cancer

    15 Oct Sunscreens are not enough to avoid cancer

     

    Sources:

    Nature

    A few years ago the European Union banned use of the term total block" in sunscreen labels because it led to confusion. There is, in fact, no photoprotection that is 100% effective against UV radiation. A study published recently in Nature confirms that sunscreens do not protect fully against melanoma but this does not mean we should stop using them.

     

    The research – conducted by scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute – demonstrates that even a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 allows some DNA-damaging radiation to penetrate the skin, possibly causing melanoma. This, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, affects every year about 160,000 people worldwide, according to WHO, with the number of cases in Spain increasing by 38% in the last four years. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    How the sun sees you…

    4 Oct

     

     

    Ultraviolet vision cameras penetrate under our skin better than our normal vision, which only sees the epidermis’ surface. The same applies to the sun's UV rays, which penetrate the skin and, year by year, damage the deeper layers without us being aware of it. This video shows how exposure to the sun alters our skin’s protective layer.

     

    Thomas Leveritt is an Anglo-American artist who decided this summer to help dermatologists raise awareness of the importance of using sunscreen. That’s why he made this video on the streets of Brooklyn (New York).  Using an ultraviolet vision camera, he filmed anyone willing to pose and then showed them images of sun damage on their skin not visible to the naked eye. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Sunscreens pollute

    Sunscreens protect the skin from UV rays and are essential for risk-free summer tans. But they also have a negative side. According to a recent study, the chemicals in sunscreens are toxic for marine organisms and can have serious consequences for the ecosystem.

     

    The sunscreen that we wear when we dive into the sea after a spot of sunbathing is harmful to marine phytoplankton, according to a recently published article by researchers at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies and the Andalusian Institute for Marine Science (Spain). From analyses of water from a popular beach in Mallorca (Balearic Islands) during August, the scientists concluded that levels of hydrogen peroxide, a powerful oxidant, tripled at peak bathing times. Read More

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