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Sunscreen creams could lead to better blood vessels

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The new study suggests that sunscreen protects the function of the skin's blood vessels from ultraviolet radiation (UVR) damaging the dilation of blood vessels. Skin cleansing can also help protect the skin's blood vessels from sun damage. The results will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS) in Experimental Biology 2019 in Orlando, FL.

Sun UVR is well documented as a factor that contributes to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. It has also been found that UVR reduces the blood vessel dilatation associated with nitrogen oxide (vasodilation) associated with nitrogen oxide by decreasing the amount of nitric oxide available in the skin. Nitrogen oxide is a compound necessary for blood vessel health. Skin vascular dermatitis plays an important role in regulating body temperature and responding to heat stress locally in the skin as well as throughout the body.

Pennsylvania State researchers have studied the effect of exposure to UVR by sunscreen or sweat to the ability of nitric oxide to promote vasodilation of the skin's blood vessels. Healthy young people with light and medium skin tones were exposed to UVR on one hand, while the other hand served as a control and did not receive UVR treatment. The UVR dose was roughly equivalent to spending hours outside on a sunny day, but with no reddened sunburn. Three places on the hands of each participant exposed to UVR were randomly assigned to one of three treatments:

  • one place only got UVR,
  • the second place received UVR with a chemical sunscreen agent on the skin, i
  • third place received UVR with simulated sweat on the skin.

It has been found that only place for UVR has less vasodilation associated with nitrogen oxide than in the control group. However, in places where sunscreen and sweat creams were treated, there was no decrease in vasodilation associated with nitrogen oxide. Furthermore, when sunscreen was applied before UVR, exposure to UVR actually increased [nitric oxide-associated vasodilation] compared with [the control arm], or when the sweat was on the skin, "wrote the research team." The presence of sunscreen or sweat on the skin may have a protective role against this effect. [of UVR]".

"For those who spend a lot of time working, practicing or taking part in other outdoor activities, sunburn can protect not only from skin cancer, but also from reducing vascular skin function," wrote S. Tony Wolf, the first author of the study .

Do you need to wear sunscreen during skiing or snowboarding?

More information:
S. Tony Wolf, MA, Pennsylvania State University, will present a poster on "Modulating Sun Protection Effects and Simulated Sweets on Microvascular Depression of Ultraviolet Radiation in Human Skin Vasculature" on Sunday, April 7, at the Orlando Convention Center's Orlando Convention Center.

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Using sunscreens could lead to better blood vessels (2019, April 7)
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