Skin Cancer, Meet Your Match!

Posted: April 17, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

Summer’s just a few months away, and as the weather continues to get warmer and warmer, we’ll start seeing less clothing and more time spent outside. But before you start reaching for your beach towel and bikini in hope of getting that perfect summertime tan, take a minute to think about the effects the sun can have on your skin.

While sunlight is good for you – an increase in vitamin D is why fewer people get sick in the summertime – an overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is what causes significant damage to your skin. And while we’re all aware of the risk of skin cancer and sunburns, the risks of sun overexposure don’t stop there. Wrinkles, sunspots, cataracts, retinal damage, and corneal burns are only a few consequences of too much contact with the sun.

Luckily, the invention of sunscreen was proven to minimize those sun-caused maladies – but recent scientific discoveries suggest that sun protection doesn’t stop there. Your daily, post-workout skinny vanilla latte could help your skin fight back against the sun’s damaging rays.

A recent study conducted by a professor at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy found that the combination of exercise and caffeine consumption might be able to ward off sunlight-caused skin cancer. The researchers evaluated the effects of caffeine and exercise on mice in high-sun conditions, and found that the mice that were given doses of caffeine and ran on an exercise wheel experienced 62 percent fewer instances of skin cancer. In addition to healthier skin, the mice also were also found to have reduced weight and inflammation.

Just remember that this has yet to be tried out on humans. So in lieu of dousing yourself in iced coffee before your afternoon run outside, stick to good, old-fashioned sunscreen for the time being.

—Amber Brenza

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