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Fact file on harmful skin lightening ingredients

By Kofi Dwinfour

The following ingredients found in some skin lightening products have been proven to be harmful to health and cause permanent skin damage.

For information about how Trading Standards are stamping out the illegal trade in skin lightening creams please read this blog.

Do we need a campaign to explain what SPF means?

By Kofi Dwinfour

A new U. S. university study has found that many people seem to be confused by sunscreen terminology. Only 43 per cent of people surveyed understood the definition of sun factor protection (SPF) and only seven per cent knew what to look for on a label if they wanted a sunscreen that offers protection against early skin aging.

generic sunscreen

Summer sun protection top tips

By Kofi Dwinfour

It is almost Midsummer and naturally, all our thoughts turn to fun in the sun, either here or abroad. Exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays increases the risk of skin cancer, which is why proper sun protection is essential. In fact, the sun's UV rays are responsible for about 90 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86 per cent of melanomas.

Exposure to UV radiation is directly linked to all three forms of skin cancer. By adopting good sun safety habits families can enjoy summer outdoor activities without increasing their skin cancer risk.

Here are some top tips to help you and your family enjoy a sun-safe summer.

family with tent on a beach

Spotlight On… Chronic actinic dermatitis

by Deen Kurrimbux

A rare chronic skin condition that affects mainly males over the age of 50 although it may occur in younger individuals with atopic dermatitis. Chronic actinic dermatitis (CAD) is a severe form of eczema in which either natural sunlight or artificial light (UV) is the main causal factor, thus individuals with CAD are very sensitive to light. In extreme cases exposure to light in as little as 30 seconds will cause a reaction. The stronger the light, the stronger the reaction.

Spotlight On… Actinic keratosis

by Deen Kurrimbux

Actinic keratoses (AK) are dry scaly patches of skin caused by long-term exposure to the sun. Also known as solar keratoses the patches can vary in colour (red, pink or brown) and diameter (from millimetres to centimetres) and the skin can become very thick often forming small hooks and spikes.

solar keratosis

Spotlight On… Skin cancer (non-melanoma)

by Deen Kurrimbux

Non-melanoma skin cancer is part of a group of skin cancers that slowly develop in the upper layers of the skin. Skin cancer in general is one of the most common cancers in the world. They are named after the type of skin cell from which they develop. There are two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma which begins in the bottom layer of the epidermis and squamous cell carcinoma which begins in the upper layer of the epidermis. They account for approximately 75% and 20% of skin cancers respectively.

Spotlight on… Melanoma

by Deen Kurrimbux

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Its occurrence is high among North and North-western Caucasian males and females living in sunny climates. There is a direct correlation between geographical location, intensity of sunlight (in particular U.V.) and amount of skin pigmentation in the local population.

Tawny Willoughby skin cancer on face

Spotlight On… Basal Cell Carcinoma

by Deen Kurrimbux

Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are thought to arise from hair follicle cells which are slow-growing, locally invasive malignant epidermal skin tumours. The tumours form finger-like protrusions which invade the adjacent tissue causing localised cellular destruction. This destruction is most likely to occur in areas of exposure to sun i.e. the neck, face and head.

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The prevalence of skin disease exceeds that of obesity, hypertension, or cancer. Despite skin being the largest organ of the human body, dermatological research remains one of the most under funded areas of medicine. In a world where society has an increasing preoccupation with image and it’s importance to every aspect of a person’s life, sufferers of skin diseases are feeling and being more marginalised and isolated than ever.

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