Saturday, August 9, 2008

Treatments for Freckles

By Linda A

Freckles are most often seen on kids whose parents had freckles when they were kids -- they are genetic. Genetics are not the only way to get freckles. Freckles are formed and become darker when the production of melanin increases, triggered by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet light. Freckles are tiny, black spots that are predominantly found on the face, although they may appear on any skin exposed to the sun, usually occurring in those with lighter skin, red or blond hair, and in those who sunburn easily, due to excessive exposure to the sun.

For individuals vulnerable to freckles, the first thing to do is to avoid the sun. Use a heavy sunscreen whenever exposed to the sun, besides wearing a protective veil or sunglasses to shield yourself. To cure and lighten the freckles, it is also helpful to use face packs in a combination of lemon and turmeric, as both of these are lightening agents.

In addition, a freckled skin also needs intensive moisturizing. A generous combination of cleansers, creams and facemasks containing extracts of aloe, cactus and seaweed need to be used. Besides, some beauty therapists have also found products like anti-freckles lotions and ointments to be highly effective for the treatment of freckles. Keeping the skin dust-free is also equally important. Lastly, freckles are burned off with laser with this treatment. The treatment has to be carried out by a physician and is very effective, often in one treatment.

Freckles rarely develop into skin cancer. However, people with freckles need to be extra careful about sun overexposure. They are often more likely to get sunburns and skin cancer. It is important for everyone to wear sunscreen while outside to protect against skin damage and skin cancer.

Linda A works on a Skin Care site at

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fade My Freckles!

By Natalie Katsman

Freckles, age spots, pregnancy mask - these harmless skin defects can be quite an annoying problem. We all want not only silky smooth complexion, but an even and healthy skin tone as well.

Freckles. Considered cute by some, they are a real problem for others. Freckles, a.k.a. ephelides, are small brown or tan patches common in individuals with lighter skin, blond or red hair, and blue, green or grey eyes. They appear early in life, increase in number during summer months and fade in winter. After the age of 40-45 they disappear, but who wants to wait?

Another type of skin discoloration is pregnancy mask, otherwise known as chloasma or melasma. It appears during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Women with darker skin are more likely to develop this condition. After delivery, chloasma will fade, however some traces may still remain. It can also occur in women who are taking oral contraceptives.

Age spots - lentigines - are similar to freckles. They appear later in life and can occur in any skin type.

The good news is: if you know why the discoloration occurs and take measures to prevent and treat it, you can have an even skin tone at any age.

Freckles, age spots and pregnancy mask have several things in common. They are formed in sun exposed areas: face, hands, chest and back. These unwelcome brown patches are nothing more than accumulation of skin pigment melanin which is always produced by the skin. The amount of melanin present determines the skin tone of an individual. Extra melanin is produced by the body in response to sun exposure: it absorbs UV rays and does not allow them to penetrate deep into the skin layers as it would be damaging.

If you want to avoid skin discoloration, the first and the most important thing you need to do is to avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen. This way your body will not need to produce more melanin.

Since melanin is accumulated in the upper layer of the skin, you might want to consider skin lightening and peeling. There are different products that can be used for this purpose:

  • Hydroquinone has been a very popular treatment, however it can irritate the skin.
  • Kojic acid, discovered in Japan in 1989, is a natural product derived from fungi (mushroom). It is gentle on the skin and very effective in treating skin discoloration. Penetrating upper skin layers, it inhibits the formation of the pigment.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids help to shed old cells faster, therefore they will be helpful as well. By removing the outer skin cells, which are usually darker, you will make your freckles or age spots lighter and less visible.

If you decide to use any of the above products, extra sun protection is imperative. If necessary, apply an SPF cream several times a day. By using skin lighteners and peels, you affect the upper darker layer. Lower layers are lighter, with less melanin present. If you don't protect your skin, it will launch its own defense mechanism producing more melanin. This will result in darker and more intensive discoloration, which can be even harder to get rid of.

Please remember that skin discoloration (excluding pregnancy mask, which should disappear after the delivery) require consistent treatment. Once you stop using lighteners and protection, the dark patches will be back. But keeping up with your skin regiment is not difficult: all you need is a gentle yet effective lightener and a moisturizer with complete UV protection - against both UVB and UVA rays.

Natural remedies you can use:

  • Wash your face with sour milk. Lactic acid will provide gentle peeling effect without irritating or drying your skin.
  • Lemon juice is a time proven freckle fighting remedy. It is not necessary to rub your skin with a piece of lemon. Applying the juice with your fingers will do the job.
  • Fruit and vegetable masks (apricots, strawberries, cucumbers, red currant).
  • Sour cream mask. Do not rinse this mask completely, just remove gently with a facial tissue, then apply a moisturizer. For oily skin - use lemon juice before applying the mask.
  • Natural parsley juice (or parsley infusion) mixed with equal amounts of lemon juice, orange juice, and red currant juice under your favorite cream will help you keep your freckles invisible.

Last but not least - increase your Vitamin C intake! It makes your skin less sensitive to the sun. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, apples, green onions, black and red currant, rosehip tea.

Please note that some types of skin discoloration are due to internal disorders. Poor liver functioning, hormonal or metabolism disorders, overactive thyroid can be the underlying reasons for unsightly cosmetic problems. If this is the case, start your treatment from the inside.

Note: Information in this article is not to be taken as a medical advice. Always consult your doctor if you need professional help.

(C) Natalie Katsman, 2004.

About The Author

Natalie Katsman is a co-founder of, where you can find fine quality aloe vera products for beauty and well-being and subscribe to HealthySkin Newsletter filled with beauty tips, recipes and information on herbal healing, skin care and cosmetic chemistry.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fossil feathers hint at color

Researchers at Yale University are reporting the discovery of pigmentation within the fossilize feather from a bird or dinosaur. Using a powerful electron microscope, paleobiologist Jakob Vinther and his team claim that particles seen in the 100-million-year-old fossil appear to be similar to those seen in the feathers of living birds. This could mean that color - a characteristic long-thought lost in the fossil record - could someday be determined from the remains of pigment.
Vinther’s colleagues included Yale paleontologist Derek E. G. Briggs and Yale ornithologist Richard O. Prum. The results of their study will appear in an upcoming issue of Biology Letters. The research shows that dark stripes in the Cretaceous-aged feather display many similarities to the make-up of black melanin particles found in modern bird feathers. Melanin compounds determine color in plants and animals, a trait useful for such things as camouflage, species identification, and courtship display. In humans, melanin colors our skin and also protects us from overexposure to sunlight.
For a long time, the dark granules seen in fossilized feathers were thought to be the carbon remains of bacteria that had worked at decomposing the organism prior to fossilization. But advances in electron microscope technology have given scientists a closer - and clearer – picture of the feather’s structure, and instead show them to be fossilized melanosomes containing melanin pigment.
"Feather melanin is responsible for rusty-red to jet-black colors and a regular ordering of melanin even produces glossy iridescence,” Vinther said. “Understanding these organic remains in fossil feathers also demonstrates that melanin can resist decay for millions of years."
Under the scope, the lighter bands of the fossilized feather showed only the rock matrix, while the darker bands displayed traces of residue closely resembling the organic compounds found in the feathers of modern birds.
“You wouldn’t expect bacteria to be aligned according to the orientation of the feathers,” said Vinther.
Another bird fossil showed similar organic traces in the feathers surrounding its skull. The 55-million-year-old fossil from Denmark also preserved an organic imprint of the eye that showed structures similar to the melanosomes found in eyes of modern birds.
Nanostructure studies could one day provide paleontologists with evidence of colors other than just black and gray tones, and not just in fossil feathers. Vinther figures other organic remains such as fur from prehistoric mammals or fossil skin impressions from dinosaurs could prove to be the remains of the melanin.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vitamin D Slashes Risk of Cancers; Ignored by American Cancer Society

by Mike Adams

Exciting new research conducted at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska has revealed that supplementing with vitamin D and calcium can reduce your risk of cancer by an astonishing 77 percent. This includes breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and other forms of cancer. This research provides strong new evidence that vitamin D is the single most effective medicine against cancer, far outpacing the benefits of any cancer drug known to modern science.
The study involved 1,179 healthy women from rural Nebraska. One group of women was given calcium (around 1500 mg daily) and vitamin D (1100 IU daily) while another group was given placebo. Over four year, the group… receiving the calcium and vitamin D supplements showed a 60 percent decrease in cancers. Considering just the last three years of the study reveals an impressive 77 percent reduction in cancer due to supplementation.
Note that these astonishing effects were achieved on what many nutritionists consider to be a low dose of vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight, which creates even more vitamin D in the body, was not tested or considered, and the quality of the calcium supplements was likely not as high as it could have been (it was probably calcium carbonate and not high-grade calcium malate, aspartate or similar forms). What does all this mean? It means that if you take high-quality calcium supplements and get lots of natural sunlight exposure or take premium vitamin D supplements (such as those made from fish oil), you could easily have a greater reduction than the 77 percent reduction recorded in this study.
American Cancer Society opposes vitamin D
This research on vitamin D is such good news that the American Cancer Society, of course, had to say something against it. An ACS spokesperson, Marji McCullough, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, flatly stated that nobody should take supplements to prevent cancer.
If it seems surprising to you that the American Cancer Society — which claims to be against cancer — would dissuade people from taking supplements that slash their cancer risk by 77 percent, then you don’t know much about the ACS. In my opinion, the ACS is an organization that actually prevents prevention and openly supports the continuation of cancer as a way to boost its power and profits. The ACS is the wealthiest non-profit in America and has very close ties to pharmaceutical companies, mammography equipment companies and other corporations that profit from cancer. Notice the name, too: It isn’t the American Anti-Cancer Society, it’s the American Cancer Society! What they really stand for is right in the name!
Click here to read more about the ACS and its financial ties to chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies and radiology equipment manufacturers.
The cancer industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and I’ve written extensively about the criminal organizations that protect and promote the industry. Just about everything the public is told about cancer by these cancer institutions is a lie. Those “race for the cure” cancer walks are a complete scam (they really aren’t searching for any way to prevent cancer or cure cancer, they’re only searching for new patented drugs to profit from cancer).
This research on vitamin D is a huge threat to the cancer industry profit mongers because it reveals a way to prevent cancer for free — by seeking natural sunlight exposure and letting your skin manufacture your own powerful anti-cancer medicine (vitamin D). The idea that the cancer industry could lose 80% of its patients due to widespread education about vitamin D and sunlight scares the living daylights out of the cancer industry. Billions of dollars in cancer profits are at stake here, so the pro-cancer groups have to do everything they can to discredit vitamin D by creating doubt and confusion. The degree of dishonesty at work here is almost unbelievable to those who don’t really know what’s happening in the cancer industry.
Ten questions to ask yourself about the cancer industry
Consider these questions:
#1: Why does the cancer industry refuse to educate people about cancer prevention?
#2: If people keep donating money for the “search” for a cancer cure, why won’t drug companies pledge to “open source” their patents on cancer drugs to benefit the people whose donations funded them in the first place? In other words, why do people donate money for cancer research but then get charged for cancer drugs?
#3: Why does the entire cancer industry so strongly dissuade people from using sunlight exposure to dramatically reduce their cancer risk? (Hint: Follow the money to the sunscreen industry…)
#4: Why have all the really good cancer supplements, clinics and naturopaths been banned, arrested or run out of the country? (Look up the FDA’s oppression of Lane Labs over MGN-3 for a fascinating review of this…)
#5: The U.S. has poured billions of dollars into the cancer industry over the last three decades. Cancer cures were promised in the 1970’s. Why are cancer rates still essentially the same today as they were in the 1970’s?
#6: Why does the cancer industry continue to use chemotherapy, radiation and other toxic procedures to “kill tumors” when the latest science clearly shows that cancer tumors are only the symptoms, not the cause, of cancer? Chemotherapy destroys immune function and causes permanent damage to the heart, brain and liver…
#7: The World Health Organization says that 70% of all cancers are easily preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes. This latest research shows that sunlight and low-cost calcium supplements can slash cancer risk by 77% in women. Why won’t conventional medicine embrace this low-cost, safe and highly effective method for preventing cancer?
#8: The cancer industry routinely attacks anti-cancer herbs, superfoods and supplements. Why is the cancer industry opposed to anti-cancer nutrition? Why does it believe that only man, not nature, can manufacture anti-cancer medicines?
#9: Dark skin pigmentation blocks ultraviolet radiation, meaning that people with black skin need far more time under the sun to generate the same amount of vitamin D as someone with white skin. Not surprisingly, black women suffer extremely high rates of breast cancer while black men show similarly high levels of prostate cancer. The white-dominated medical industry pretends to be “mystified” by all this. Why won’t conventional medicine simple tell black people the truth about vitamin D, skin pigmentation and cancer? Why do oncologists try to keep black people ignorant about their vitamin D deficiencies?
#10: Why is it illegal for nutritional supplement manufacturers to tell the truth about the anti-cancer effects of their products? Broccoli, garlic, onions and sprouts all have powerful anti-cancer effects, as do dozens of rainforest herbs (Cat’s Claw, for example), Chinese herbs and Western herbs. But the FDA threatens and censors any company that dares to mention cancer prevention on its supplement products. Why is the FDA enforcing a policy of nutritional ignorance with U.S. consumers? Why does the federal government want people to remain ignorant of methods for preventing or treating cancer?
You probably already know the answer to all these questions, because the answer is the same for each one: Corporate profits. Cancer is hugely profitable to treat. Substantially preventing cancer would result in a loss of billions of dollars in profits for the oncologists, drug companies, hospitals and clinics that currently prey upon the finances of cancer victims.
The cancer industry is operated like a criminal racket, using false information, intimidation, political pressure and propaganda to protect its power base and keep its corporations profitable. And that, my friends, is exactly why the industry is against the use of sunlight to prevent cancer. Free medicine from the sky? The very thought of it makes the cancer industry cringe. Sunlight doesn’t even need a prescription, you see, and it can’t be patented, either.
Preventing cancer the healthy way
Let me tell you how I prevent cancer. I take long walks in the desert with no shirt on, and I don’t wear sunscreen. I soak up the sun’s rays for many hours each week, and I never get a sun burn because I eat lots of antioxidant-rich superfoods, berries and fresh produce.
I drink a raw superfood smoothie each morning, made of fresh produce and superfoods. My two favorite recipes are chocolate (with raw cacao, coconut oil or macadamia nut oil, raw avocado, spirulina, quinoa, banana and almond milk) and super berry (fresh berries, freeze-dried berries, egg white protein, stevia, aloe vera gel, fresh cucumber or watermelon, celery).
I put no personal care products on my skin whatsoever: No deodorants, no fragrance, no skin creams, no cosmetics and no sunscreen. This alone saves me from exposure to hundreds of cancer-causing toxic chemicals added to personal care products. I refuse to use chemical laundry detergent and, instead, use natural laundry soap that grows on trees: Natural soap berries that we sell as a replacement for chemical laundry detergents.
Corporate-controlled U.S. government doesn’t want to prevent cancer
The U.S. government doesn’t want the population to be free of cancer. That’s a strong statement, so let me offer you an undeniable piece of strong evidence to back that up: The artificially low RDA numbers for vitamin D.
One of the best ways to keep the population suffering from cancer is to enforce long-term nutritional deficiencies that lead to cancer. The US government accomplishes this by keeping the recommendations for vitamin D artificially low, practically guaranteeing that anyone who follows the recommendations will eventually be diagnosed with cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is the leading cause of breast cancer.
Most educated nutritionists agree that the daily dose of vitamin D for an adult should be at least 1000 IUs, perhaps as high as 1400. But the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IoM), which controls the recommendations on these things, currently states that adults under 50 only need 200 IUs of vitamin D a day. This policy is, in my opinion, an organized conspiracy to keep the American people diseased by making sure they stay deficient in anti-cancer nutrients. It serves the interests of all the powerful corporations and non-profits that run Washington. And yes, it is a conspiracy. I’ve documented it in far more detail in my book, Natural Health Solutions and the Conspiracy to Keep You From Knowing About Them, which reveals shocking details, documents and photographs showing how modern medicine is a system that’s literally designed to keep the people in a state of chronic disease.
The FDA doesn’t want people to prevent cancer either. That’s why they’ve aggressively attacked companies offering anti-cancer nutrients, and completely censored the very mention of the word “cancer” by supplement companies. In fact, the only reason I can print the information you’re reading right now is because I sell no food or supplements and my free speech writing is not regulated by the FDA. If I were selling supplements and writing these same words you’re reading right now, I would be arrested, charged with federal crimes, and put out of business by state and federal authorities. That’s the reality of the oppressive medical environment under which we live today: Health is outlawed, and only disease is allowed to be promoted.
The cancer industry, you see, is not merely incompetent; it is criminal. Intentionally keeping a population sick so that you can profit from disease is a crime against humanity. And yet this is business as usual in America’s modern cancer industry.
Discrediting simple, free and safe cancer prevention strategies is also criminal, and yet this is what the American Cancer Society seems to do at every opportunity.
Plotting to profit from the suffering of other humans beings is evil. And yet the entire revenue base of the cancer industry is based on precisely that: Keeping people alive long enough to “treat” them with overpriced toxic chemicals that can be billed to Medicare at 50,000% markups over their manufacturing cost.
Cancer is big, big business. And curing cancer is a threat to all the criminals participating in that industry: The non-profit employees, oncologists, doctors, federal regulators, drug company executives, med school propaganda teachers, pharmaceutical reps and many others. These people cannot allow cancer to be prevented or cured. Their jobs and careers are at stake.
Another outstanding source for learning more about the evils of the cancer industry is G. Edward Griffin. Click here to read our article about Griffin or click here for his website.
Click here to see his video documentary on vitamin B17
A world free from cancer and full of abundance
Personally, I believe we could create a world virtually free of cancer. We could accomplish it in two generations by taking tough action to outlaw cancer-causing chemicals and investing in genuine cancer prevention education. Drug companies would lose trillions of dollars in profits, hospitals would lose huge amounts of patients, and pro-cancer non-profit groups would lose power, money and prestige. But guess what? We’d all be better off without cancer.
Here’s a startling statistic: Did you know that reducing the cancer death rate by just 1% would be worth almost $500 billion to the U.S. economy over the next hundred years or so? (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Drop the cancer rate by 10% and it’s worth $5 trillion dollars to the economy. (These gains are due to increased productivity and life spans of working, contributing people.)
We know right now that vitamin D and calcium can slash cancer rates by 77 percent. Do the math on that, and you realize that sunlight and calcium could result in a $38.5 trillion boost to the U.S. economy over the next century.
That’s enough economic productivity to pay off our entire national debt, build new schools in every town and city in the country, provide free college educations to all young people who wish to go to college, invest billions in new energy technologies and even fund massive health education campaigns to keep our population healthy. $38 trillion is a lot of money. With that kind of increased abundance, we could build a whole new society of health, wealth and education.
But guess what? The cancer industry won’t let that happen. There’s too much short term profit to be made in keeping everybody sick. The cancer industry is so evil that it will sell out our future in order to maintain power, profits and control over the people today. The cancer industry doesn’t want cancer rates to go down, regardless of the benefits to society or individual lives. The cancer industry wants there to be MORE cancer, which is exactly why it opposes commonsense prevention strategies that would reduce cancers. (It’s true, this industry actually opposes removing cancer-causing chemicals from the workplace…)
Read more at Dr. Sam Epstein’s website:
The bottom line in all this? New research shows us that using low-cost calcium and vitamin D supplements (or just natural sunlight), we could slash cancer rates by an astonishing 77 percent. The cancer industry opposes this and is firmly positioned as an opponent of cancer prevention. The industry depends on cancer to grow its own power and profits, and it will invest in the de-education of the public in order to maximize its own revenues.
Cures for cancer exist all around us: Sunlight, rainforest herbs, anti-cancer foods and superfoods, etc. The causes of cancer are well known: Toxic chemicals in foods, cosmetics, personal care products, home cleaning products, and so on. So why don’t we, as a nation, take steps to outlaw the things that cause cancer while promoting the things that prevent cancer?
The reason, once again, is because there’s too much money at stake here. The corporations are in charge, and as long as they’re running the show, cancer cures or prevention strategies that really work will simply not be tolerated.
Creighton press release
Here’s the original press release about the new findings on vitamin D and cancer prevention:
OMAHA, Neb., June 8 — Most Americans and others are not taking enough vitamin D, a fact that may put them at significant risk for developing cancer, according to a landmark study conducted by Creighton University School of Medicine.
The four-year, randomized study followed 1,179 healthy, postmenopausal women from rural eastern Nebraska.* Participants taking calcium, as well as a quantity of vitamin D3 nearly three times the U.S. government’s Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) for middle-age adults, showed a dramatic 60 percent or greater reduction in cancer risk than women who did not get the vitamin.
The results of the study, conducted between 2000 and 2005, were reported in the June 8 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“The findings are very exciting. They confirm what a number of vitamin D proponents have suspected for some time but that, until now, have not been substantiated through clinical trial,” said principal investigator Joan Lappe, Ph.D., R.N., Creighton professor of medicine and holder of the Criss/Beirne Endowed Chair in the School of Nursing. “Vitamin D is a critical tool in fighting cancer as well as many other diseases.”
Other Creighton researchers involved in the study included Robert Recker, M.D.; Robert Heaney, M.D.; Dianne Travers-Gustafson, M.S.; and K. Michael Davies, Ph.D.
Research participants were all 55 years and older and free of known cancers for at least 10 years prior to entering the Creighton study. Subjects were randomly assigned to take daily dosages of 1,400-1,500 mg supplemental calcium, 1,400-1,500 mg supplemental calcium plus 1,100 IU of vitamin D3, or placebos. National Institutes of Health funded the study.
Over the course of four years, women in the calcium/vitamin D3 group experienced a 60 percent decrease in their cancer risk than the group taking placebos.
On the premise that some women entered the study with undiagnosed cancers, researchers then eliminated the first-year results and looked at the last three years of the study. When they did that, the results became even more dramatic with the calcium/vitamin D3 group showing a startling 77 percent cancer-risk reduction.
In the three-year analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in cancer incidence between participants taking placebos and those taking just calcium supplements.
Through the course of the study, 50 participants developed nonskin cancers, including breast, colon, lung and other cancers.
Lappe said further studies are needed to determine whether the Creighton research results apply to other populations, including men, women of all ages, and different ethnic groups. While the study was open to all ethnic groups, all participants were Caucasian, she noted.
There is a growing body of evidence that a higher intake of vitamin D may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.
Humans make their own vitamin D3 when they are exposed to sunlight. In fact, only 10-15 minutes a day in a bright summer sun creates large amounts of the vitamin, Lappe said. However, people need to exercise caution since the sun’s ultraviolet B rays also can cause skin cancer; sunscreen blocks most vitamin D production.
In addition, the latitude at which you live and your ancestry also influence your body’s ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D. People with dark skin have more difficulty making the vitamin. Persons living at latitudes north of the 37th parallel — Omaha is near the 41st parallel — cannot get their vitamin D naturally during the winter months because of the sun’s angle. Experts generally agree that the RDA** for vitamin D needs to be increased substantially, however there is debate about the amount. Supplements are available in two forms — vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Creighton researchers recommend vitamin D3, because it is more active and thus more effective in humans.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Melanoma: its misconceptions leading to late diagnosis and high mortality rates

With the incidence of skin cancer on the rise, it has never been more important for the public to practice the prevention and detection steps that are key to avoiding melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Yet in the case of African- Americans, detection may be more difficult because studies of African-Americans who are diagnosed with melanoma have shown that the condition most often develops on non-sun-exposed areas of the body.

This finding along with the misconception that melanoma is not a significant threat for individuals with darker skin, may contribute to the higher rates for this population. Prevention and detection messages about melanoma are not being heeded by African- Americans.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is one of the few cancers where the cause is known- overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and artificial light, like those in a tanning bed.

One reason why African- Americans are not overly concerned about melanoma is that most of the skin cancer warning messages are geared toward fair-skinned individuals with blue eyes and blond or red hair who sunburn easily.

Also, the incidence of me-lanoma in African-Ameri-cans is much lower than in Caucasians due to the additional melanin, or pigment, in the skin. While this pigment offers some sun protection, dark brown or black skin is not a guarantee against melanoma.

However, once African-Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, studies have shown that their long-term survival is significantly lower than that of Caucasians, 58.8 percent compared to 84.8 percent.

Melanoma has a 96 percent cure rate when detected early, yet the mortality rate in African-American patients remains high and can be directly linked to the advance state of the disease at the time of diagnosis." The question is why are African-American patients waiting so long to seek treatment?

When diagnosed, mela-noma in African-American patients has often spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma in these advanced stages is usually fatal.

It is still unclear if racial differences in melanoma mortality are related to delays in diagnosis and medical treatment, or it represents inherent differences in the aggressiveness of the disease in the skin of people of colour.

Another factor that may prevent African-Americans from seeking early treatment is that they usually develop melanoma in locations that differ from those described in conventional detection messages.

A recent study showed that while 90 percent of Caucasian patients develop melanoma on skin that is regularly sun-exposed, only 33 percent of African-American patients developed the condition in these areas.

In African-Americans, melanoma most often develops on non-sun-exposed skin, such as the foot, toenails and the mucous membranes of the mouth, nasal passages or genitals.

Another challenge that may delay treatment is that melanoma of the nails, which peaks in incidence between the ages of 50 and 70 in African-Americans, often does not conform to the ABCD rule of pigmented lesions – "A" being asymmetry; "B" being border irregularity; "C" being colour variations; and "D" being diameter larger than six mm.

The ABCD rule is the best way to determine if a suspicious mole or spot on the body is changing and requires immediate medical attention."

African-American also should examine their nails for some additional symptoms that can signal a serious condition."

These additional factors are most commonly found on the nails of the thumbs or big toes and may include brown or black bands under the nail, and a spot that extends into the nail folds or the skin that supports the nail.

It is important for African Americans and their physicians to know that melanoma can and does occur in people of colour, and a greater effort needs to be made to inform these audiences about this

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sun Protection

Many people are unaware that the main reason for the visible signs of aging of the skin is because of exposure to the sun.
While we all require some sunlight to remain healthy and get our share of vitamin D, most people get more than their fair share and the resulting overexposure to the sun ages most people prematurely.
Having a slight tan coloring our skin can give the impression that we look somewhat healthier but the opposite can be true with the damage that is going on below the skin.
The ultra violet rays from sunlight promote the production of melanin and that is why we tan, but this also creates free radicals that destroy the lipids and proteins in the epidermis, which is the thin outermost layer of skin.
Damage can also occur deeper within the skin as the collagen is destroyed.
Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of the skin and keeping our skin firm.
Obviously with a reduction in the elasticity of the skin we will begin to look aged sooner.
Antioxidants will help to reduce the damage that the sun will do to the skin but the best solution is to use suitable protection so the skin doesn't get damaged in the first place.
Other than remaining out of the sun as much as possible, which isn't a feasible solution, the best course of action to take is to always ensure that you wear a good sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15 or more depending on your skin type.
Certain sunscreen lotions can cause irritation for people with sensitive skin so, as with all the products you use on your face, try a test sample first.
Make sure you cover all exposed areas of your face and especially the ears where many people forget to apply sunscreen.
Lips are prone to burn easily so a lip cream with an SPF factor should also be used.
Wide brimmed hats and sunglasses will also help to keep the sun off your face and reduce the aging affects.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Listen To What I Accuse You Of

The arthritis is in my feet now. It takes a goodly amount of time to come down the stairs when I get up in the morning. I can only hold on to the rail with my left hand and arm early on like that. Just now I went out on the deck used as the entry to my house. It's connected to a deck on the second floor by a set of 16 steps. I have to hold on for the first trip up and down, then after a couple of rounds of going up and down the stairs I get to where I can go up the stairs without holding on to the hand rails, and eventually I can descend the staircase without holding on. That's kind of what I aim for, because doing that makes me feel like I can act normal in front of others without attracting a critical look from them. Climbing up and down the outside stairs exercises the tendons and ligaments in my legs in addition to the muscles. I get some aerobic exchange through repetition.

I'm fascinated by the articles I'm reading on Vitamin D these days. I especially like considering what humans have had to do in order to live up or down toward the polar regions where they don't normally get enough sunlight for their skin to manufacture the amount of Vitamin D they need to stay healthy. There is a consideration that has to be made about skin pigmentation too. People with dark skin have a more difficult time converting UV rays into Vitamin D. If they live above forty degrees latitude, where even light-skinned people have difficulty getting enough sunshine to their skin in order to manufacture Vitamin D, then they can get sick and die without having a clue why that happened.

One of the surprising things I read yesterday was how much Vitamin D the skin can manufacture in a given time. I've read that it takes fifteen minutes of exposure for the skin to get started producing the vitamin. Yesterday I read that twenty minutes in the summer sun can produce 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D. I don't know how the altitude or pigmentation factors in to that. It's apparently not that hard to get enough even with dark skin in the summer. It just takes a little longer where there is more pigmentation to penetrate.

This measurement of how much Vitamin D the skin manufactures in direct UV sunlight has caused the people who study this sort of thing to rethink their previous position of using 400 IUs as the RDA. Still, adding 400 IUs as a supplement to milk products practically eliminated an old problem with the bones called "rickets." Apparently, rickets used to be a fairly common health problem among the poor, and the cause of it had nothing to do with being poor, but not getting enough sunlight.

This makes me think about the stories I used to hear about how southern belles would cover every inch of their skin when they went outside to look even whiter than they were. Granted, they were apparently a fairly sickly lot. They must have had that "prison pallor" people who get put in jail get from being inside all the time.The symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency looks like the who's who list of old age diseases. Sentencing a criminal to prison for a long time must have been the equivalent of torturing him to death by premature aging.

If I wanna use this universal experiential database I've been writing about lately, I can't question what I write... with the other experiential database I attained institutionally. The only way I can be there in real time is by not "knowing" it with my institutionally acquired experiential database. By not "no-ing" it. By not denying it. Only by apperceiving it in real time and pushing the keyboard buttons down without "thinking" about it can I "see" what I say.

This is what a good preacher does, and probably a prophet. They "say what they see", but they're not actually "seeing" it. I.E., they don't have to know where they're at to be there. People can verbalize what they experience in real time if they don't question the veracity of their spoken word. If they stop to question whether what they describe is true or false, they lose the flow, and they're not saying what they see in real time any more, but reciting history.

"...You never count yo' money, before you leave the table, there'll be time enow for counting... when the dealings done." ~Lyrics from The Gambler

Just about anything one can say, that leaves the right impression is always about how to keep the flow going without people getting in they own way. What a ticket to ride! An enabler of the flow. I try to get people to give me advice so I'll know what to say to them. I tell them to do what they said I should, and I'm always right.

I might listen to you if you tell me something you think will help in THAT regard. Otherwise, I get my advice from an alien source. Me. My attitude might seem rude, at first, but I'm much more likely to listen to the advice I offer you, than to the advice you offer me. When all is said and done, it may turn out that I am who I think you are. Can you be okay with that?