We Are Sunshine

Conventional Theories of Photoaging and Skin Cancer Challenged by Scientist, Dr. Win L. Chiou

Friday, March 1st, 2024

BURR RIDGE, Ill.Feb. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Regular non-burning, moderate exposure to sunlight is commonly assumed to cause cumulative skin damage that may result in photoaging causing wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin, as well as skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Furthermore, sunlight exposure may increase tissue enzymes to degrade collagen and elastin needed to maintain skin firmness and beauty, and to decrease enzymes for their synthesis, thereby purportedly causing accelerated skin aging. The Food and Drug Administration and other health authorities advise people to minimize or avoid sun exposure even on cloudy days throughout the year and to wear sunscreen to help prevent photoaging and skin cancer if necessary.

Dr. Chiou, renowned retired professor from University of Illinois at Chicago with over 200 publications, 6 patents, about 100 invited presentations, and served on editorial boards of 9 journals, and as FDA/law-firm consultant, has published numerous articles challenging conventional concepts on skin aging and skin cancer. He pointed out the pioneering work of Dr. Sam Shuster’s group in the British Journal of Dermatology (1975) on the dominant effect of intrinsic factor on skin aging (i.e., skin collagen contents totally unaffected by sun exposure) in a very large number of subjects was completely ignored by scientists over the last 5 decades. Shuster’s work was recently supported by Chiou’s exponential kinetic analysis of their data that also clearly contradicted conventional accelerated aging theory. The above is also confirmed by his analysis of other published data showing total lack of sun exposure on aging of superficial capillaries in humans. Chiou was the first one to demonstrate exponential aging kinetics of human hearts, our body engines, indicating the paramount importance of reduced cardiac output, nutrients, or even water on aging that has been almost completely ignored in molecular dermatology.

Chiou also invoked the genomic stability doctrine for smooth passage of generations of good health and appearance to theoretically rationalize why exposure to non-burning sunlight is not damaging. This is because any damage to DNA and other tissue components can be completely repaired or removed by our body’s extremely efficient repair mechanisms. “Non-cumulative, non-consequential sunlight damage” was coined. Low cancer rates in the world’s population is clear, supporting evidence for such a doctrine. Additionally, erythema, a mild sunburn, can be completely self-healed in days. He was the first one to show that strong sunburn, not chronic non-burning sun exposure, is the root cause of BCC, SCC and most melanoma based on a re-analysis of data published from Harvard University.

Chiou advocates not using sunscreen in our daily lives as non-burning, moderate healthy sun-exposure can provide numerous benefits such as vitamin D and immunity enhancement, lower risk of bone fracture, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, as well as, ironically, protection against skin cancer. Use of sunscreen for intense intermittent sunbathing should be strongly discouraged mainly due to an SPF-independent missing applications that may eventually result in sunburn and skin cancer; this may mainly account for exponential increases of skin cancer incidences in USA and many other countries in recent decades.

Chiou suggested the notion of wrinkles caused by chronic sunlight exposure is simply a statistical impossibility as the whole face, not just wrinkling lines, is exposed to sunlight evenly. He postulated that wrinkling primarily reflects our body’s defense mechanisms by reducing effective surface area to minimize water loss from the skin caused by decreased cardiac output and sun and wind exposure. He said conventional experiments to demonstrate such wrinkle etiology were fundamentally flawed. They didn’t use low UV doses equivalent to UV Index 1 to 3 administered at constant rates over longer periods such as 30-60 minutes. When UV dose is given as a bolus in about 1 minute or less, as commonly practiced, this may completely overwhelm our body’s repair mechanisms, thus yielding misleading results on the effects of radiation on metalloproteinases or collagens. He suggests using long-acting moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin as effective anti-photoaging, anti-skin cancer and skin-firming agents. Chiou’s articles in 2022 were published in Journal of Dermatology Research and have received over 200,000 views to date.

Win Chiou, President of Chiou Consulting Inc, can be reached at 630-789-9081 or

SOURCE Dr. Win L Chiou– news articles regularly report medical and scientific information to keep you abreast of current events related to UV light. This information is not intended to be used by any party to make unwarranted health claims to promote sunbed usage. Indoor tanning businesses are obligated to communicate a fair and balanced message to all clients about your products and services including the potential risks associated with indoor tanning. Contact your Smart Tan representative to find out more about what you can and can’t say in your tanning salon business.

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