Prevent Premature Aging

By now, we’ve had the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet light (UVA) hammered into our brains. Whether from artificial light sources in tanning beds or spending too much time in the sun, UVA rays are a known cause of severe, irreversible skin damage.

Recently, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology discovered a new, genetic link between UVA overexposure and premature aging. The study involved exposing unprotected skin cells to UVA or UVB light and examining them after for progerin accumulation. Progerin, a protein associated with aging (both normal and accelerated), plays a key role in Hutchinson Gilford Progeria, a genetic condition that causes accelerated aging in children.

“This, to our knowledge, is the first time that induction of progerin is described in response to an external agent,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Thomas M. Ruenger MD, PhD. Ruenger continues, “ Our results reveal a novel mechanism by which UVA rays, which are often emitted from tanning beds, may play a role in the acceleration of photo-aging of the skin.”

Summer is just around the corner and May marks the advent of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Let this be another vital reminder of the risks involved in tanning and the importance of always wearing sunscreen and keeping your skin protected.