Improved Blood Vessel Health through Sunscreen Use

New research has proposed that sunscreen shields the skin’s blood vessels against exposure to dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UVR) by protecting the blood vessel dilation. Sweat on the skin may also offer the shielding of blood vessels from sun damage.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays have been well-established as an influence on skin cancer and preterm skin aging. UVR has also been discovered to decrease nitric oxide-related dilation of blood vessels in the skin, known as vasodilation, by lessening the quantity of nitric oxide in the skin. Nitric oxide is vital for the health of blood vessels. Vasodilation of the blood vessels in the skin plays a significant part in body temperature regulation and reacting to heat stress, locally in the skin and all through the body both.

Investigators from Pennsylvania State University researched the impact of UVR contact with sweat or sunscreen on nitric oxide’s capability to stimulate vasodilation of blood vessels in the skin. Healthy youngsters having light-to-medium skin color were subjected to ultraviolet rays on one arm whereas their other arm acted as a control, in that it was not subjected to UVR treatment. The UVR dosage was approximately equal to spending an hour outside in the sun.3 sites on the UVR-exposed arm of every individual taking part were randomly allotted one of the following three treatments:one spot was recipient to only UVR, a second one was recipient to UVR along with a chemical sunscreen on the skin, and a third spot was recipient to UVR with simulated perspiration on the skin.

The UVR-only spot was seen to have lesser nitric oxide-linked vasodilation than in the control arm. Whereas, the spots that had sunscreen and sweat applied to them, did not show these decreases in nitric oxide-linked vasodilation. “Further, when sunscreen was applied prior to UVR, UVR exposure actually augmented [nitric oxide-associated vasodilation] compared to [the control arm], or when sweat was on the skin,” the researchers stated. “The presence of sunscreen or sweat on the skin may play a protective role against this effect [of UVR].”

“For those who spend a lot of time working, exercising or participating in other various activities outdoors, using sunscreen may protect not only against skin cancer, but also against reductions in skin vascular function,” stated S. Tony Wolf, MA, and the first author of the research.