Vitamin D Deficiency In Pregnant Women

GrassrootsHealth, an organization that promotes public health by advocating vitamin D sufficiency, published a press release this week that highlights the need for programs to promote the urgency for attention to vitamin D levels in pregnant women.¹

In a study conducted by Dr. Carol Wagner, a leading researcher, pediatrician, and neonatal-perinatal medical expert found, “about 50% of the co-morbidities of pregnancy, from preeclampsia to preterm labor, infections, and gestational diabetes appear to be directly related to vitamin D deficiency.”²

The study reported that 82% of the pregnant women who participated were considered vitamin D deficient. It took 4000 IU/day of vitamin D to get women to the D*action recommended level of 40 ng/ml. Over the 6 year period of the study, supplementing at this level was shown to be safe.²

The new campaign, called “Protect Our Children Now”, is being launched in San Diego, where approximately 5,000 women a year suffer pregnancy complications, roughly half of which could be attributed to vitamin D deficiency when applying the statistics of the Wagner study. The program looks to enroll 1,000 pregnant women and will demonstrate the results of vitamin D health both during pregnancy and in the health of the newborns.¹ Data collected from the study would be used in scientific reporting to develop community action toward advancing this public health initiative.

Smart sun exposure is a good way to help boost vitamin D levels. The Natural Vitamin D UV Activation Sensor by SkinHealth Technology gauges the amount of UV light necessary to optimize vitamin D production within the body but before sunburn damage can occur.


UVA Exposure Causes Extreme Sun Damage Through Truck Window

Sunburn Car WindowThe New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article that was a vivid portrayal of what long term consistent UVA exposure can do to the skin.  A sixty-nine year old delivery truck driver, at that job for twenty-eight years, was examined.  While the right side of his face exhibited aging that one would expect for a man of his age, the left side appears twenty years older.  The medical term used for his condition was unilateral dermatoheliosis, or photodamage on one side.¹

While UVB damage is thought to be the leading cause of skin cancer, the damage caused by UVA is more insidious.  Rather than a sudden, painful sunburn, this damage accumulates over time, causing DNA mutations and direct toxicity that can lead to skin cancer.¹  The undesirable cosmetic effects of UVA damage are only the outward sign of this.

Unlike UVB rays, which are prevalent in summer months when the sun is more direct, UVA is consistent year round.  Also unlike UVB, UVA penetrates glass causing a serious concern for people who drive a lot like the trucker in the article.

Choosing a sunscreen that offers high UVA protection is not as straightforward as selecting an SPF for UVB sunburn protection. The FDA has proposed a new guideline for measuring UVA protection.  Unfortunately, the guideline is this – if the product offers any UVA protection at all the label will say Broad Spectrum.  This only tells you whether the product provides some UVA protection without saying exactly how much.

To assure UVA protection, choose a product that contains one or more of these particular ingredients – Avobenzone, Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.  UV SkinCare Daily Facial Sunscreen 35 SPF by SkinHealth Technology offers a lightweight, oil and fragrance free solution to people who need good UVA protection every day.


Growing Awareness to the Importance of Sun Exposure for Bone Health

According to the Vitamin D Council, the National Osteoporosis Society is heading its fifth Sunlight Campaign to increase awareness about the role vitamin D and sunlight play in bone health.

The National Osteoporosis Society, a UK based organization that promotes safe sun exposure as a way to get more vitamin D, recently conducted a survey of 600 people in that country and found that:

•    62% of the people surveyed know vitamin D is vital for optimal bone health.
•    200 respondents reported that the best way to get vitamin D is to go in the sun without sunscreen.¹

The National Osteoporosis Society is encouraged by the increasing awareness of vitamin D and bone health, but recognizes there is still a long way to go. A spokeswoman for the organization explained:

“Over 37% of people we questioned this year understood that you need to head outside without sunscreen in order to obtain your vitamin D, compared to only 6% of respondents three years ago, but there is still a lot of confusion and a lot of people still think that you should wear sunscreen.”¹

Exposure to the sun produces vitamin D that lasts twice as long as supplements in the system and is easily metabolized.  It is important to note that sunscreen should be applied immediately after vitamin D has been optimized through sun exposure.²

SkinHealth Technology’s Natural Vitamin D UV Activation Sensors gauge real-time UVB light intensity and indicate when an individual (with Type II Skin) has been fortified with vitamin D–before sunburn damage. Step Two Sheer Sunscreen is designed to provide instant UVA/UVB protection to the skin when applied as soon as the sensor indicates vitamin D optimization.²


Outdoor Memorial Day Plans Call for a True Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

Memorial Day SunscreenThe true purpose of Memorial Day is to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. As you enjoy the day with your family—take time to talk about the true meaning of this patriotic day.

Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial kick-off of the summer season. The three-day weekend is a time for outdoor family gatherings, picnics and parades. Spending time in the sun is typically a part of the Memorial Day weekend, so it’s also time to make sure to purchase and use a broad spectrum sunscreen.

Broad spectrum means that the product protects from both the Ultra Violet B (UVB) and Ultra Violet A (UVA) rays of the sun. The UVB rays cause sunburn, while the UVA rays cause deeper, more long-term damage and may be responsible for certain skin cancers, such as melanoma.

Be aware that all ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreens are not equal. There are three ingredients to look for on the label to determine UVA protection: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone. Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide leave an unattractive white film on the skin. The most effective and cosmetically pleasing of the three is avobenzone at a concentration of 3%.

SkinHealth Technology offers a variety of true broad spectrum sunscreens containing Avobenzone.

Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month…Task Force Issues New Recommendation for Young People

Skin Cancer Awareness MonthChances are if you are between the ages of 10 and 24 your next visit to the doctor will include a warning about the dangers of excessive sun exposure.

According to an article published this week by WebMD News, your doctor may give you (or your child) a gentle lecture about sun protection. The objective is for the doctor to appeal to your vanity to reduce sun exposure now and the risk of skin cancer later. ¹

The counseling sessions are a new recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The independent group of experts reviews evidence and makes recommendations about preventive health services.

According to the new recommendation doctors should:

  • Conduct appearance-based behavioral counseling for their fair-skinned patients.
  • Warn them of the ill effects of too much sun on their appearance.
  • Encourage sun-safe behaviors such as wearing sunscreen and hats.¹

Why focus on appearance?

Appearance is very important to that age group. However, because “The outcome of skin cancer is so far down the road for them it’s not terribly relevant,” says Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, chair of the task force and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Although the recommendation is for fair-skinned individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 – because that’s where the evidence is strong and the studies have been done – Moyer says of older and darker-skinned people, “We certainly aren’t telling other people to ignore this.” ¹

The new recommendation is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.¹


Factors That Influence Production of Vitamin D in the Skin

According to, production of vitamin D3 in the skin varies by individual and depends upon several factors.

Each of the factors listed below can affect the production of vitamin D when trying to metabolize it naturally from the sun.
Skin color (including current tan level): Paler skin will hit an “equilibrium point” after about 20 minutes of exposure to UVB light, at which point vitamin D will no longer be produced. For darker skin, reaching this equilibrium point can take two to six times longer (or up to an hour or two), depending upon pigmentation.
Amount of time spent in the sun: A light-skinned person living far from the equator (such as in the UK or the northern U.S.) needs at least three 20 minute sessions per week, in bright midday sunlight and with few clothes. A dark-skinned person should be outside significantly longer and more often to get the same effect.
Weather conditions: Clouds can prevent some UV radiation from reaching the earth’s surface, but it is still possible to get sunburned on a cloudy day. This is especially true under light clouds, which can block infrared (heat) radiation but not UV radiation. Air pollution can also block UV radiation. This can be particularly true of cities surrounded by hills or mountains, which trap air pollution. Some types of ground cover reflect UV radiation, increasing its intensity even in deceptively shaded areas. These surfaces include sand, snow, and water.
Latitude: Sunlight is strongest at the equator, where the sun is directly overhead rather than at an angle. The UV radiation at the equator is about four times as strong at the equator as it is at the Arctic and Antarctic circles.
Altitude: UV radiation is also more intense at higher altitudes, because there is less atmosphere to absorb it. You will burn more easily at high altitudes — a fact that is often overlooked because it is usually colder at higher altitudes.
Season: Always start “priming” your skin early in the spring when the sun’s rays are still mild. In summer, avoiding being outside when the solar radiation is most intense is a good idea at most latitudes, to avoid sunburn. The winter is the time of year when you need to be most concerned about the amount of vitamin D you are receiving. Vitamin D levels can drop by up to 50 percent during winter months.
Time of Day: The optimal time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is as near to solar noon as possible. That would be between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. During this time you need the shortest exposure time to produce vitamin D because UVB rays are most intense.

You need to be very careful about the length of your exposure.  This may only be a few minutes for some. Once you’ve reached your equilibrium point your body will not make any additional vitamin D. Any additional exposure will only cause harm and damage to your skin.


Use of Sunscreen May Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency

Sunscreen Blocks Vitamin DAccording to research published online April 18, 2012, in the British Journal of Dermatology, using the amount and sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is associated with little or no vitamin D production, suggesting that regular sunscreen use may lead to vitamin D deficiency.

The study demonstrated that the vitamin D serum level in the blood of the test subjects increased in an exponential manner with decreasing the thickness of sunscreen layered on their skin in response to UVB exposure. According to the researchers, “the results suggest that sunscreen use according to the current recommendations by the WHO may be re-evaluated.”¹

The use of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of just 8 inhibits more than 95% of vitamin D production in the skin.²

Recent studies showed that following the successful “Slip-Slop-Slap” health campaign encouraging Australians to cover up when exposed to sunlight to prevent skin cancer, an increased number of Australians and New Zealanders became vitamin D deficient.²

The argument for safe sun exposure to facilitate natural vitamin D production is a growing one. SkinHealth Technology has developed a patented, new sensor that helps enable the user to get sun for vitamin D optimization without damage to the skin.


Bruising is More Common with Age

Apr26 2012 - BruiseCare,Bruising

Vitamin D in the ElderlyAccording to the Mayo Clinic, bruising easily is common with age and most bruises are harmless and go away without treatment. Some people are more prone to bruising than are others.  As you get older, several factors can contribute to bruising easily…

1) Aging capillaries. Over time, the tissues supporting these vessels weaken, and capillary walls become more fragile and prone to rupture.

2) Thinning skin. With age, skin becomes thinner and loses some of the protective fatty layer that helps cushion blood vessels from injury. Excessive exposure to the sun accelerates this process.  Use of sunscreen can help prevent skin damage associated with sun exposure.

3) Blood-thinning drugs. Aspirin and warfarin (Coumadin) or medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix) reduce the blood’s ability to clot. As a result, bleeding from capillary damage might take longer than usual to stop — which allows enough blood to leak out and cause a bruise.

Do not stop taking a medication if you experience increased bruising. Consult your doctor about your concerns.

And make sure your doctor is aware of any supplements you are taking — especially if you’re taking them while on a blood-thinning drug. Your doctor might recommend avoiding certain over-the-counter medications or supplements.

Getting Ready for Prom 2012

Apr13 2012 - Acne,AcneCare

Getting ready for prom is an exciting time and having a flawless complexion is probably at the top of your “to do” list. If you are looking for model perfect make-up tips–look no further. Cover Girl/P&G Global Creative Design Director, Pat McGrath, selected her favorite shades this spring and developed three runway-ready looks that you can create at home.¹

The best make-up artistry in the world won’t help the embarrassment of those last minute stress blemishes that can pop up when you least expect it. If you’re down to the wire and are experiencing a break-out—not to worry. You can have clear skin in time for prom!  A new product—developed by a dermatologist–quickly reduces the redness and inflammation of mild, moderate and even severe acne!

AcneCare ClearTech™ Treatment is a fast-acting, one-step solution to those ugly, unwanted blemishes. This powerfully effective, yet gentle lotion helps heal acne and prevents further break outs. In fact, 95% of clinical trial participants showed remarkable improvements to their skin in seven days. Even better, 90% of them reported dramatic results in just three days!

Your beautiful skin will be the perfect palate for your new prom season make-up!


Melanoma Cases On The Rise In Young Adults

Apr04 2012 - SunCare

Teen TanningA new study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports that between 1970 and 2009 melanoma increased in young women and men between the ages of 18 and 39.  Although men generally have a higher lifetime risk of melanoma than women, the researchers found the opposite trend to be true among the young adults. “We knew we would see an increase in rates among young women, but we were surprised we saw such a dramatic increase. This seems to be higher than what has been reported previously,” said Mayo Clinic dermatologist Dr. Jerry Brewer in a teleconference.¹ The researchers believe this increase is due to tanning bed use and teenagers’ failure to heed warnings about the dangers of indoor tanning.

One thing that does seem to get the attention of this demographic is the wrinkling skin damage that is caused by tanning, and tanning beds in particular.  Another study published in the May 2010 Archives of Dermatology focused on this aspect of indoor tanning, rather than the health risks.  At the end of the study the half of the participants who were given materials to read that gave them alternative ways to improve their appearance had reduced their tanning habits.²

All this seems to indicate that even though young adults have sought to improve their self perceived appearance by tanning, they are even more concerned about looking wrinkled.  There have been other reports that show that when a dermatologist talks to young patients about sunscreen use, they have better luck getting them to use it if they address skin aging, rather than skin cancer.  So if the young tanners in your life haven’t responded to pleas to their mortality, try appealing to their vanity by recommending a lightweight daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.



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