We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: Study openly identifies major weakness in Dermatology’s case against UV

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Epidemiologic studies “have …failed to establish a definitive association between UV exposure and the risk of melanoma” according to the authors of a review study published in a relatively obscure technical research journal last year — a ripple in UV research that Big Dermatology continues to try to bury.

2009-03-20-strike-one-copy.jpg“Despite years of focused efforts, the question ‘what is the role of UV in melanoma remains unanswered or answered only partially,” Dr. Nityanand Maddodi and Dr. Vijayasaradhi Setaluri wrote in their paper, “Role of UV in Cutaneous Melanoma” which was published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology late last year. “Epidemiologic data still remain controversial.”

Maddodi and Setaluri are in the dermatology department at the University of Wisconsin.

Part of the reason for the controversy: The fact that UV-induced melanin is photo-protective, protecting the skin from sunburn, and is a powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger in the skin.

The doctors recognize what Dermatology industry lobbying groups have failed to acknowledge: “inherent weaknesses in the design of epidemiologic studies.”

In other words, studies that attempt to show an association between UV exposure and melanoma incidence can never really track UV exposure habits of the subjects over time. What’s more, studies that look at indoor tanning and melanoma were totally incapable of truly measuring whether subjects had sunburned or what kind of tanning unit they were using — old-fashioned home units or properly monitored, professional indoor tanning facilities.

“That has been Smart Tan’s contention for years – that studies attempting to link indoor tanning with melanoma have not been able to accurately gauge indoor tanning in a non-burning fashion as the model verses simply looking at people who report using tanning equipment, but don’t truly know what equipment they were using or how they were using it.”