A team of scientists has made a worrying discovery with their latest study.
According to their research, UV rays can damage the skin even after we’re not exposed to the sun.
The scientists published the recent findings in the journal Science.
According to the experts, light skin is more exposed to the damaging effects of the sun rays, but research shows that even though melanin is supposed to act as a protective layer, it could be linked to some negative effects.
One of the scientists involved in the new study, Yale University dermatologist Douglas Brash, said that the common knowledge was that in order to protect our skin from the damaging UV radiation, we must wear sunscreen before going out on a hot summer day.
Dr. Brash explains that:
‘Here you have a different situation where what you want to do is add something after you leave the beach or tanning bed that protects you for several hours after. You could imagine designing chemicals that dissipate that energy before it has a chance to get to the DNA.”
According to Brash, there are chemicals they used for the new research, but there is always room for better protection against the sun rays. Brash and his colleagues wanted to understand what role melanin plays in all this.
The researchers exposed melanocyte cells from humans and lab mice to UV radiations from a lamp.
They discovered that the UV caused a type of DNA damage scientists call cyclobutane dimer.
This means that two “letters” from the DNA attach and bend the DNA, which prevents the information it carries from being read accordingly.
The scientists were surprised to see that the melanocytes generated CPDs even after the cells were not exposed to the UV radiation anymore.
The study revealed that cells without melanin generated the CPDs only during the exposure.
According to the study’s results, the melanin has both protective and carcinogenic effects on the cells.
Brash explained that usually, melanin is known to protect the adult skin against CPDs. But besides acting as a shield, it can also have damaging effects on the skin.
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