In a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, Dr. Kristin Skinner reported her findings that breast cancer patients had significantly lower levels of vitamin D compared to the control group.
In other words, vitamin D deficiency was more than twice as common in women undergoing surgery for breast cancer.
As we have discussed before, optimal levels of vitamin D is greater than 30ng/mL. Most institutions and medical practices recommend levels above 40ng/mL.
As you know, vitamin D is produced by the skin with exposure to sunlight. It can also be absorbed through foods and supplements.
People living in northern states generally have low levels of vitamin D because of the lack of exposure to sunlight. Low levels of vitamin D are also found in some individuals who protect their skin by wearing full clothing and sunscreen.
It is very important for both men and women individuals to have their vitamin D levels checked. Do you know your vitamin D levels? Be sure to ask your doctor to order the appropriate blood work to check your vitamin D levels.
Pristine Laser Center 407-494-0404
Do you use sunscreen?
If you live in Orlando, you know that summer is here. With the hot sunny days of summer, most of us will be outside enjoying the pool or going to the beach or taking the kids out to the park. We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen when we go outside, but do we actually use sunscreen?
Earlier, we had discussed the importance of having enough Vitamin D in our body as it is important for healthy skin. As was mentioned, sun exposure raises our vitamin D levels and enhances our mood. However, sun exposure also damages our skin, causing wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation (sun spot or age spot), and sometimes cancer.
The best method to protect your skin is with physical protection (long sleeves, hats, etc.) and with sunscreen which helps protect the skin against the damaging effects of sunlight. But with hundreds of sunscreen products on the market, how do you go about choosing the best one? Before we can answer that question, we need to discuss and explain the light properties from the sun. UV (Ultraviolet) rays have wavelengths shorter than visible light, and therefore can’t be seen by the human eye. These UV rays are categorized into 3 types: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVC rays emitted from the sun are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth. UVA rays (320-400nm) have longer rays compared to UVB rays (290-320nm).
UVA rays account for about 95% of the rays that reach the earth. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and are suspected of contributing or even initiating skin cancers. Because UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, there is no burning or redness associated with UVA radiation. Tanning booths emit UVA radiation. The sunlamps used in tanning salons can emit 12 times more UVA radiation compared to the sun, therefore increasing the chances of skin damage. That is why it is important to stay away from tanning salons.
UVB rays are shorter and stop at the surface of the skin and cause redness and burning. UVB rays are known for damaging the epidermis and play an important role in skin aging and development of skin cancer. Having discussed UVA and UVB, let’s now talk about 4 important things to consider when choosing a sunscreen: SPF, UVA and UVB protection, and the ingredients in the sunscreen.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it is the standard used to rate sunscreens since the 1970's. It refers to the amount of UVB radiation that causes redness while wearing the sunscreen in comparison to the amount it would take without it. Although this is important, SPF rating has its limitation: it does not indicate UVA protection. In addition to the exposure time, other factors such as skin type, the amount of sunscreen applied, the frequency of reapplying the sunscreen, and the type of outdoor activity also make a big difference in preventing sun-induced skin damage.
So what SPF rating is sufficient? An SPF 30 blocks close to 97% of the sun's rays and is usually sufficient. With higher SPF products, you often end up paying twice or three times the price. But those products do not provide any significant amount of increased protection. In fact the chemicals used in the higher SPF products are much more likely to irritate the skin.
The best advice: Use SPF 30 and re-apply the sunscreen often if you will be out in the sun for more than 30 minutes. In addition to UVB protection, be sure that the sunscreen protects against UVA rays. Remember 95% of the rays reaching the earth are UVA rays!
Beautiful Skin Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Every day, it must protect us against pollution, temperature changes, exposure to UV rays and ward off the natural aging process, etc. As we grow older, signs of "wear and tear" become visible on our skin. Our skin becomes wrinkled, dry, itchy, and we get sun spots (age spots), among other things. So what is one to do?
Most people have grown accustomed to using lotions, ointments and other products for their skin. But did you know that these topical products are used only to treat the epidermis, which is only 1/5th of our skin width. The other part, the dermis, accounts for 4/5th of our skin. The dermis's nutrients and well-being is based upon what we eat and ingest. The topical products used generally do not affect the dermis.
So what is one supposed to do for a healthy, beautiful skin? Well, the first advice is to drink plenty of water. Second has to do with what you eat. Make sure your diet consists of plenty of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. As you probably know, anti-oxidants destroy the free radicals in our body which can damage tissue resulting in fine lines, pigmentary changes and skin texture problems. There are plenty of great anti-oxidants available including vitamin C, pomegranate, and grapeseed extract. As for anti-inflammatories, aloe vera is one of the best. Arnica is another product that we commonly recommend in our office. And again, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Check back here for more information on how to have beautiful skin. At Pristine Laser Center, our goal is help our clients achieve healthy, beautiful, pristine skin. Call 407-494-0404 for a consultation.
Vitamin D Vitamin D is a key component of healthy, beautiful skin. As mentioned earlier, it is vital for normal bone growth and health, a healthy immune system, and most importantly in the function and wellness of our biggest organ, the skin. Most of us think of our skin as dead. Every single skin cell begins its life at the basal layer of the epidermis. As it migrates upwards towards the top, it undergoes many changes in form and function. The rate of which these cells divide and move to the surface are controlled by various things including Vitamin D. It is estimated that the skin on our body loses about 40,000 cells every minute. If our body does not have the proper vitamins and nutrients to replace these cells, our skin becomes think and fragile and will start to sag.
Free radicals produced by our own body and from the environment also damage the skin by destroying it's structural support, decreasing elasticity, and resilience. Vitamin D serves as an anti-oxidant, fighting the free radicals to keep the skin healthy.
As mentioned before, sun exposure is the major source of Vitamin D production by the skin. But due to UV-blocking sunscreen and our indoor living, most of us lack the proper amount of Vitamin D. It is estimated that 75% of us are deficient in Vitamin D.
There are skincare products available on the market that contain Vitamin D. There are also Vitamin D supplements available. The best way to know if our body has the proper amount of Vitamin D is a blood test which checks for levels of Vitamin D.
If you are interested in having your Vitamin D levels checked, Pristine Laser Center can help. Call us today at 407-494-0404 for an appointment.
Vitamin D One of the vitamins responsible for building stronger bones is Vitamin D. Although we obtain some Vitamin D from our food intake, most of the Vitamin D in our system is made by our body. However, sunshine is needed for Vitamin D production.
Our skin is responsible for Vitamin D production and naturally it won’t produce more than we need. That means we need regular and constant exposure to sunshine for Vitamin D production. Foods such as milk and fish do not provide as much as Vitamin D as sunshine. Therefore it is very important not to be underexposed to the sun.
Laboratories are now able to measure blood levels of Vitamin D. Your doctor can order a test known as 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D levels. Normal levels are between 30-100 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Levels between 15ng-30ng is considered insufficient. Levels less than 15ng is considered deficient.
Recent studies have shown that more than half of children have either insufficient or deficient levels of Vitamin D. Although large studies have not been done in adults, it is very much expected that a significant number of adults have insufficient or deficient levels of Vitamin D.
Therefore, the next time you see your doctor, get your blood level of Vitamin D checked. Levels between 30ng-100ng is normal. If your levels are lower, you should supplement with at least 1000 IU per day of Vitamin D. If you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, those levels should be higher and you should also take a Calcium supplement.
All of us want beautiful, healthy skin. At Pristine Laser Center, our goal is to educate you so that you can take the appropriate steps necessary to look pristine. Check back often as this page will be regularly updated with tips on how to look good.
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Disclaimer: The material presented here is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice or recommendation. Please check with your physician.