Sep 17, 2020
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Is it true that aloe can cause skin cancer?

Elena Malysheva in her program "Living Healthy" she made the subject of discussion a traditional Russian medicinal plant - aloe. Co-host Malysheva Andrey Prodeus, told about the experiment with aloe in mice. So, scientists laid out fresh aloe on the skin of bald mice for a year. It turned out that because of the photosensitization of these areas in rodents, the likelihood of developing squamous cell carcinoma increased. Therefore, the American Association for Cancer Research has come to consider fresh aloe as potentially dangerous and carcinogenic. This message naturally produced a violent effect. Can aloe really cause skin cancer?

Answers cosmetologist, dermato-oncologist, Ph.D. Elena Belyanina:

- No clinical studies have been conducted on aloe vera, and at the moment it is impossible to talk about any occurrence of cancer from creams with aloe vera.

If we turn to the above-mentioned photosensitizing effect, here we need to start from the beginning with the fact that there are different reactions of the skin to solar radiation. The first type of reaction is sunburn - this is when excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation has an effect on the skin like an allergic reaction. It can manifest itself as redness of the skin, itching, burning, in severe cases, it can be blisters, swelling of the skin, and quite severe pain. And photosensitivity is the reaction of the skin to a combination of exposure to ultraviolet radiation and a drug or chemical.

What drugs can cause phototoxic reactions

Drugs that can cause systemic phototoxic reactions, that is, which are photosensitizers, include various groups of drugs. It can be antidepressants and antibiotics, most often these are tetracycline antibiotics, diuretics, some antifungal and antineoplastic agents, retinoids, as well as various dyes, such as methylene blue or green. Usually, you can read about these reactions in the instructions for use for the drug, which is attached to the box with this drug.

Photosensitization can also occur due to the fact that a person has had contact with a plant that contains a photosensitizing substance. For example, one of them - it's lime. There are some chemicals that are contained in cosmetics, therefore, applying some kind of cream, perfume, and going out into the sun, you can also get such a phototoxic reaction, this is the so-called sunburn, with a small dose of solar radiation.

In cosmetology, after some types of procedures, it is also forbidden to be under the open rays of the sun. Such techniques include laser resurfacing, removal of blood vessels with a laser, and others.

What causes skin cancer?

From a scientific point of view, skin cancer includes two types of cancer - squamous and basal cell. The first major carcinogenic factor is ultraviolet radiation. When people sunbathe quite often throughout their lives, as a rule, foci of squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma may occur after the age of 50-60.

In addition, some oncogenic types of human papillomavirus also cause epithelial dysplasia and skin cancer. A risk factor for skin cancer is also a state of immunodeficiency and various industrial carcinogens (if a person has been working at an enterprise for a long time).

But the main provoking factor is excessive solar radiation, that is, excessive exposure to the sun, especially in people with a light skin phototype.

As for skin melanoma, which stands alone and does not relate to skin cancer from a scientific point of view, but belongs to malignant skin formations, the risk factor is also primarily excessive ultraviolet radiation, but, as a rule, it is not chronic. Melanoma is more related to the so-called acute exposure to sunlight on the skin. There are also genetically determined factors of melanoma and various genetic cell mutations.

You need to treat the sun "on you", sunbathe correctly and come to the doctor for examination if you have a large number of moles, if you or your first-line relatives have a history of melanoma. This is the so-called prevention, which always comes first, which is cheaper and much better than the treatment of the disease itself.

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