Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sun Damage and Young Teens

There’s a feeling of invincibility that comes with childhood.  If you’ve ever had a child roll their eyes at you as you try to explain the importance of not talking to strangers or wearing a seatbelt, you understand how difficult it can be to make them understand that certain dangers are real.  A new study of 585 children using UV photography to show hidden signs of sun damage has made the specter of skin cancer all too real. 

For the study, children were photographed using standard photography, cross-polarized photography and UV photography.  The results revealed more than the mottled pigmentation and dark spots that indicate photoaging, it unfortunately uncovered that even 12 and 13 year olds are showing signs of advanced sun damage.  The severity of which showed a high correlation with known risk factors such as having light-colored skin, blue eyes, red hair, and already visible freckling. 

The researchers hope the images get more kids to think about sun safety.  It’s hard to ignore the evidence when it’s written on your own face; and the photography doesn’t lie.  The more damage highlighted in the UV images, the greater the cancer risk.  I generally don’t like scare tactics, but will use them if I can save a child from facing melanoma later in life.  Our Visia complexion analysis can expose hidden damage and make recommendations for renewal and maintenance going forward.    

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