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Research Sheds Light on Sunburns and RNA Damage

Research Sheds Light on Sunburns and RNA Damage

When your skin is bright red and sensitive from a sunburn, you may not think your body is doing you a favor. However, new research from scientists at the University of California in San Diego suggests that sunburns are an immune system reaction that helps to clear the body of genetically damaged cells.

Sunburns are a symptom of skin damage, which is a precursor to scarring, premature wrinkles, and even skin cancer. However, exposure to UV light is part of treatment for many conditions and diseases, including psoriasis. When UV rays interact with skin cells, they damage the cells’ RNA. Undamaged cells in the area become inflamed, red, and painful in order to flush the cells out.

The research is important because ultraviolet therapy is frequently used as treatment for various disorders like psoriasis and vitiligo. Knowing more about sunburns could help scientists find a way to trigger this healing process without putting patients at risk for skin damage.

Until then, the healthiest choice is to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen when you go outside. For more information on keeping your skin healthy, contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today.

Dr. Zimmet Invited to Present at Phlebology Leadership Summit

The American College of Phlebology Foundation has invited Dr. Zimmet to speak at the Vision for Tomorrow Executive Leadership Summit for phlebology professionals. The summit is the first of its kind, and Dr. Zimmet is honored to be one of only six medical professionals asked to address the conference participants as a group facilitator.

The ACPF’s Leadership Summit is an exclusive event meant to bring phlebology professionals together to discuss the foremost issues in their medical field. Health care leaders will gather for three days to address the future of phlebology, clinical research, and public health problems regarding vein diseases and disorders. The ACPF has been a critical force in establishing professional standards for phlebology through Board certification. The Foundation also works to support professional education and funds research to further understand the causes and treatment of chronic venous disease.

Dr. Zimmet is frequently recognized by medical organizations as a leader in phlebology and dermatology. As a leader in research and education, he frequently presents at conferences and educational programs. This experience has allowed him to provide personalized, effective treatment for each of his patients. For more information on Dr. Zimmet’s practice, contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today.


Update: Unfortunately, Dr. Zimmet is not able to attend the ACPF’s Vision for Tomorrow Executive Leadership Summit due to unforeseen circumstances. He looks forward to working with the ACPF in the future and attending next year’s conference.

Melanoma Cases on the Rise

The American Cancer Society predicts than an estimated 76,250 new cases of melanoma will occur in the US this year. That number is 6,020 greater than the 2011 figures and has many dermatologists concerned.

Some suspect that the rise in cases is due to increased melanoma awareness. As more and more people check their skin for unusual growths and visit dermatologists for professional skin examinations, the numbers of those diagnosed with melanoma increase too. This theory also explains why more melanomas are being caught early, when they can still be easily cured.

At the same time, however, there has been a simultaneous increase in melanoma-related deaths. This indicates that there may be other contributing factors such as increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and rates of incidence have been steadily growing for the past 30 years. It is the fifth most common cancer among men, with 44,250 expected to be diagnosed in the US this year, and the sixth most common cancer among women, with 32,000 new cases.

The best way to protect yourself against melanoma is prevention. You should avoid tanning booths and always apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Also, use hats, clothing with SPF protection, and do your outdoor activities before 10 AM and after 4 PM. In addition, it’s a good idea to check your entire body once a month for unusual growths. People with a family-history or personal history of skin cancer should see a doctor once a year for a skin exam.

If you’re concerned about a spot on your skin or would like a full skin exam, contact Zimmet Vein & Dermatology today. 

Ultherapy® Before and After Photos

Investigation Finds Spray Tans Pose Health Threat

As more research sheds light on the danger of indoor tanning beds, spray tans have become increasingly popular. Sunless tans have been characterized as the “safe” way to get a glowing, bronze complexion without a risk of developing melanoma. However, a recent investigation reveals that spray tans may pose other health risks.

Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the chemical in spray tan solutions that darkens the outer layer of skin. DHA is not a pigment; rather, it reacts with amino acids to darken skin tone. The chemical was approved over thirty years ago by the FDA for use in sunless tanning lotion. However, the agency recommends that DHA is not inhaled or ingested, as it may pose a lung cancer risk and DNA damage. Because of these recommendations, tanning salons are encouraged to offer customers goggles and masks during the tanning session, but the investigation found that salon employees rarely provide them.

Local city and state governments are responsible for tanning salons abiding by health codes, but few areas have enforceable regulations in place. As a result, most individuals who receive spray tans get DHA in their eyes, nose, and around the mouth.

Dr. Zimmet recommends only using cosmetic and pharmaceutical products that are approved by the FDA. If you choose to use a sunless tanner, skip the salon and buy a lotion with DHA instead. Additionally, you can avoid chemicals altogether and achieve a natural glow by eating foods high in beta carotene. For more information on keeping your skin healthy, you should contact Zimmet Vein and Dermatology today.

Warning: Don’t Put Sunscreen on Infants

While you are slathering on the sunscreen this summer, keep in mind that sunscreen isn’t safe for everyone in your family. If you have a baby younger than six months, you should not put sunscreen on him or her, according to a recent Federal Drug and Administration consumer update.

Babies’ skin is thinner so the chemicals in sunscreen absorb easier into their skin than they do in older children or adults. Also, since their skin-to-body-weight-ratio is greater than that of older children and adults, they are more exposed to sunscreen’s active chemicals and have a greater risk of inflammation or allergic reactions, stated Hari Cheryl Sachs, a FDA pediatrician.

Yet, the outside air is refreshing for you and your baby. If you would like to take your infant outside, avoid exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when UV rays are most intense. Also, try to find natural sun protection: shady spots where you are safe from the sun’s harsh rays, pulling down the stroller’s canopy, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing your infant in lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats that shade the neck.

If there is no shade to be found, you can apply a small amount of SPF 15 to small areas, such as the cheeks and back of their hands, but the FDA states you should not use sunscreen with insect repellent DEET.

Keep in mind that babies can get overheated more easily than us since they don’t sweat to cool down their bodies yet. Also, they can get dehydrated very easily. Make sure to give them more fluids if you notice they are urinating less than usual as this may indicate they dehydrated.

If you have any questions concerning skin care for your children, contact Zimmet Vein and Dermatology today to learn more.


Like Us on Facebook – Support Health Alliance for Local Musicians

Starting today, Dr. Zimmet will be donating $1 to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) for every one “Like” that he gets on his Facebook page.  The more likes he gets, the more he’ll be donating to HAAM.

Haven’t Heard of HAAM?

The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians was founded in 2005 to provide access to low-cost health care for Austin’s uninsured musicians. Austin has over 8,000 working musicians who provide over 11,000 area jobs and bring in nearly $1 billion in economic activity.

Since 2005, HAAM has helped 2,700 of these musicians access over 41,000 health care appointments through providers such as the SIMS Foundation, St. David’s Foundation in partnership with the Capital Area Dental Foundation and Seton Healthcare Family.

Why Do We Support HAAM?

Austin musicians help make our city an exciting place to live and visit. They inspire creativity in all of us and keep our minds open and active. Without our musicians, Austin just wouldn’t be the same. They’re near the heart and soul of this city, and we believe it’s important to keep them healthy.

How Can You Help Out?

  • “Like” our Facebook page and Dr. Zimmet will donate $1 to HAAM
  • “Share” our page with your friends and ask them to like us as well
  • Attend a local concert and keep Austin rocking
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