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Spring break is here and many young adults show off cool body art by getting henna tattoos. Henna tattoos are realistic-looking and temporary, lasting from a few days to several weeks before fading away. Risk free and fun, right? Well, a new warning from the FDA states that certain temporary tattoos can cause permanent damage. In this case, the warning is for “black henna” tattoos.
Unlike permanent tattoos where ink is injected under the skin, henna tattoos are drawn or stenciled onto the skin’s surface. Traditional henna is reddish-brown and is derived from a flowering plant that is native to Asia and Africa. Traditional henna has been used for skin decoration for centuries and is not part of the warning.
The FDA warning has to do with “black henna” tattoos that contain para-phenylenediamine (PPD). PPD is commonly used for hair dye, smells like bleach or ammonia, and is not approved for direct application to the skin. If the temporary tattoo artist is using ink that is jet-black and stains quickly, then it is most likely PPD based.
Direct application of PPD to the skin can have horrible side effects. The FDA has received reports of redness, blisters filled with fluid, loss of pigmentation, and permanent scarring. The reactions may be immediate or may not appear for a few days or weeks after exposure. One particular report from a mother, who also happens to be a nurse, states that her daughter’s skin looked “the way of a burn victim, all blistered and raw.”
Protect your skin and if you are thinking about getting temporarily body art, be sure that the artist is not using “black henna.” Be on the lookout for jet-black ink, as it may be PPD based. When in doubt, don’t take the risk or you may be left with a permanent scar.
A new study has shown that taking a low daily dose of aspirin may prevent melanoma (skin cancer) in older women. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, CA analyzed data from nearly 60,000 postmenopausal Caucasian women who enrolled in a 12 year follow-up study.
Researchers found that during the 12 years, women who regularly used aspirin had a 21 percent lower overall risk for developing melanoma compared with women who did not take aspirin. Medical student Christina A. Gamba discovered that taking aspirin regularly less than one year reduced melanoma risk by 11 percent. Taking aspirin 1 to 4 years resulted in 20 percent lower risk, and taking it five years or more resulted in 30 percent lower risk.
Aspirin’s anti-inflammatory properties may have played a role but Ms. Gamba is currently reanalyzing the data to see if anti-inflammatory activity or another mechanism is responsible for the aspirin takers’ reduced risk of skin cancer. Thirty-two thousand women in the US will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and the disease will kill 3,120.
Keep in mind that signs of melanoma can begin with an irregular shaped mole that changes in color and size. Always cover up your skin and wear sunscreen. And for areas that you cannot reach, such as the middle of your back, use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator. If you wish to add aspirin to your daily regimen, be sure to speak to your doctor first.
It's that time of the year again! Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts this Sunday, March 10, 2013, at 2AM. Although we will lose one hour of sleep, we will gain one hour of daylight.
Here are 5 interesting facts: