DOES INDOOR LIGHTING POSE CANCER RISK?

As the switch is being made from traditional incandescent bulbs to vastly more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting (CFL), scientists have wondered if the eco-friendly CFL bulbs pose any skin cancer risk. New research into the matter now reveals that pervasive chipping/cracking in the phosphor surface coating of nearly all the compact fluorescent bulbs under examination was allowing UV rays to escape. (The phosphor coating both provides the bulb with greater luminescence and absorbs UV radiation.) In light of this research, scientists warn that skin cells placed in close approximation (less than one foot) to CFL bulbs showed the same damage as those exposed to UV light. No one is suggesting that sunscreen should be applied indoors, but caution is urged.

Most people are now aware the sun emits harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer. Research now shows that exposure to energy-efficient CFL bulbs inside the home also emit some UV rays. Your risk of skin cancer is related to the amount of UV ray exposure you have had over your lifetime. Examine your moles regularly because a change in their appearance may be a warning sign of a problem. Please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to schedule an evaluation of your skin. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, and we provide education on how to protect your skin. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Wearing sunscreen moisturizers and other skin products daily all year round is a good idea because even small exposure to ultraviolet light adds to its cumulative damaging effect.

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DRY WINTER SKIN

One of the ironies of winter weather is that the cold air is so dry that it resembles desert air. Consequently, dry skin is one of winter’s itchiest conditions. Dry skin is not only an outdoor problem. Central heating, space heaters, wood stoves, and other heating devices also lead to damaged, dry, itchy skin. To counter these problems, it is important to treat skin with a daily moisturizer. Upon emerging from the shower, it also helps to rub oil into the skin all over the body before toweling off. Also remember that long, hot showers and baths remove oils from the skin, which is a good reason to limit showers to fifteen minutes or less with warm (not hot) water.

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical skin care possible. With compassion and respect, we can treat even the most challenging skin problem utilizing the most recent advances in dermatologic therapy. For appointment information, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111.Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis,
MD Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. To prevent skin from becoming dry and itchy, it is important to hydrate properly by drinking plain water (and limiting coffee and/or alcohol intake) daily.

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