Monday, January 28, 2013

Skin Cancer Foundation Filed Complaint Against Jersey Shore

Last week the Skin Cancer Foundation filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C), urging them to look into the promotional initiatives of MTV’s Jersey Shore’s. The Foundation is asking that the F.T.C. hold the show accountable for the excessive use and glamorization of tanning it believes is encouraging dangerous behavior among young viewers.
This formal complaint is not the Skin Cancer Foundation’s first attempt to initiate change. In 2010, the Foundation staged an intervention on the television show Extra; on air the cast pledged to change their behavior. However, we’ve seen in the past years that the cast members have continued to tan and talk about tanning. According to the Foundation, the topic is no longer part of organic conversation, but a recurring promotion of tanning.
With the latest filing, The Skin Cancer Foundation is demanding that MTV include with the show and all associated promotions a warning about the risks of skin cancer. The Foundation vehemently believes that if the Jersey Shore producers insist on endorsing excessive tanning, then the least they can do is disclose the related health risks to its impressionable viewers.
In an effort to prove its point, the Foundation assessed and identified an alarming 186 visual or verbal references to tanning in just 17 episodes. In one episode, cast member Paul DelVecchio (Pauly D) enthusiastically nominated himself “Most Likely to Get Skin Cancer.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation recognizes that it is not MTV’s responsibility to advocate or discourage tanning. However, MTV’s demographic is a core part of the population at higher risk for skin cancer. According to a report from the American Cancer society, the incidence of melanoma increased 800 percent in young women and 400 percent among young men from 1970 to 2009.
Do you think that MTV should be responsible for warning Jersey Shore viewers about dangers of tanning? Or do you think that it is a parent’s and individual’s responsibility to be educated on the risks of any behaviors or habits that they endorse?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

UV Nail Lamps: Are they safe?

Gel nails and gel nail polishes have become a growing trend among American women. Similar to acrylic nails, gel nails are made from a monomer liquid that is combined with a polymer powder. This formula creates long polymer strands and once dried, those strands create a hard resin on top of the natural nail. Gel nails also contain shorter strands, called oligomers, which make the nail more flexible.

In order for the gel to harden, nails must be placed under a UV lamp, exposing the surrounding skin to UV light. As a result, many have asked if this exposure might lead to skin cancer. Some dermatologists have gone as far as claiming that these nail lamps are as damaging to the skin as tanning beds. However, according to an article published by WebMD Health News, the development of skin cancer as a result of exposure from a nail lamp is highly unlikely.

According to Dr. Alina Markova of Massachusetts General Hospital, “Nail lamps are safe for over 250 years of weekly manicures, and even then there would be a low risk of skin cancer.” Dr. Markova goes on to say that the lamps are not completely risk free, but that they pose little risk.

In a different article, dermatologist and clinical researcher, Dr. Susan Taylor shared her concerns relating to gel nails -- one being exposure to UV light. She also mentioned the exposure to a chemical ingredient call methyl acrylate, which has been known to cause a rash when it comes in contact with the skin, and also that constant application and removal of gel polish will lead to weaker and flaking nails over time. Her suggestion to counter these potential problems is to moisturize your nails several times a day.
Dr. Markova has been one of the only researchers to conduct a credible study on the effects of the UV lamp. So without further information, it is difficult to determine the safety of gel manicures. As a dermatologist, I never promote the use of artificial UV lamps if not 100% necessary. So the question you would need to ask yourself is whether or not even a minimal risk is worth a long lasting manicure.