It was a day full of excitement and anticipation, with the launch of a new generation of skin treatments, from skin lightening and bleaching to hair removal and collagen treatment.
But when it comes to those who have already recovered from skin cancer, it’s not all smiles and hugs, writes Dr. Jennifer Doudna.
In a paper published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Doudnas team looked at how different skin types fared in a variety of scenarios, and how they respond to the treatments.
Here are some of the key findings:There’s more to recovery than just lightening skin tone.
“In addition to lightening the skin tone, we found that the skin may also respond to collagen treatment by producing more of the substance that helps repair the collagen, which has been shown to protect cells from the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, such as sunlight,” Dr. Kostas Papanikolaou, a dermatologist at The University of Pennsylvania, tells The Wall St. Journal.
“A better understanding of this is critical for the development of more effective skin treatments that can target the underlying cellular mechanisms underlying inflammation and oxidative stress,” he adds.
“It’s important to consider the fact that even when the skin is fully recovered, there’s still some tissue damage, especially in areas with more scarring, that may continue to be present.”
So, where do you start?
Skin lightening is the first step.
“Most people recover within a couple weeks of treatment, but some people may need months,” Dr Papanicholou says.
“If you’re at a higher risk of recurrence, you may want to look into more aggressive therapies such as collagen-based laser treatments, collagen-rich injections, or topical therapies, such to help your skin maintain its youthful appearance and repair damaged skin.”
Dr Douds team found that, overall, the most common reason people get back to skin is that they stopped their inflammatory processes, but that their collagen-producing cells did recover.
“The good news is that most of the skin repair happens over the course of about one year,” Dr Doudnas team writes.
The best way to start recovery is to stop your inflammatory processes and focus on your recovery.
“You’ll want to work on reducing inflammation to reduce the damage you’re doing to your cells,” Dr Kostras Papanicolaou adds.
“This will also help you to heal from scarring and other problems.”
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