When you think you’ve had enough sun, you probably move into the shade. But, according to a new study, that might not be soon enough—because it turns out that sun keeps damaging skin for hours after exposure.
Recent research from Yale University has shown that sunlight does damage DNA over a protracted period of time. We already knew that the UV rays from the sun cause —cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD), in the skin cells. These dimers, form in the DNA and go on to cause mutations and, sometimes, cancer. It was thought that the damages occurred when the UV light hit the DNA.
The new experiments carried on at Yale, demonstrated that skin cells continue to produce CPDs for up to three hours after they’ve been exposed to UV light.
Further inspection has revealed that the UV light activates two enzymes which combine and then form an electron inside the melanin (the pigment found in our skin cells). The energy dumped into the melanin via this electron is then transferred to the DNA where, it causes the CPDs. Exposure to UV light seems to kick-start the enzymes, which then remain active for several hours. According to the researchers, the same process happens in human skin cells.
Unfortunately it is hard to completely modify our life style and stay out of the sun plus the sun is beneficial for other important metabolic functions.
The good news is that, the studies suggest that it could be possible to block the effects of the enzymes using antioxidants.
We hope to have available very shortly a sunscreen and antioxidant combo to protect but also to combat the after effects of sun exposure.
In the meantime please add to your daily routine antioxidants like Vitamin C, Resveratrol and sunblock. The new TRIA skin laser will increase penetration and enhance the benefits of either product used alone.
The Tria Age-Defying Laser+Antioxidant System is now available for $650. Call us at 914.730.3333 to find out the best treatments for discoloration, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and age spots.
Anca Tchelebi, M.D.