Skin

Girl Bullied For Having Vitiligo Turns Her Skin Into Art

Ash Soto was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 12. As her vitiligo started spreading, she began to feel ashamed of her skin, especially after a little girl asked her if she had showered in bleach. Now the 21-year-old not only isn’t ashamed, but she embraces her skin.

In her late teens, Soto decided she wouldn’t let her skin hold her back anymore, so she started setting herself daily challenges like walking in public without a long sleeve shirt. Eventually, the challenges led to Soto turning her body into beautiful art. “I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin,” Soto said to Daily Mail. Now, she has made her body look like so many different art pieces, including Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and she’s not stopping! “Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something…

Umbrella’s shade doesn’t prevent sunburn

Beach/umbrellas

Thirteen-year-old Ada Cowan from Brooklyn, N.Y., would rather sit under an umbrella at the beach than put on sunblock. “I hate the sticky feeling of it on my skin,” she says. But is an umbrella’s shade enough to protect her skin from burning? Bad news for Cowan and anyone else who doesn’t like slathering on the gloopy stuff: A new study gives a definite edge to sunblock.

Hao Ouyang, who led the study, manages some research for Johnson & Johnson in Skillman, N.J. The company makes sunblock, including the type used in this study. His team wanted to see how two types of sun protection compare — umbrellas versus sunscreen.

For its tests, his team used a sunblock that had a sun protection factor — or SPF — of 100. Explains Hao, that means it had been designed to filter out 99 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. And in this comparison, umbrellas proved far less protective. More than three out of every four people (78 percent) shaded by a beach umbrella got sunburned. In contrast, only one in every four people who used the heavy duty sunblock got burned.

Hao’s team reported its findings online January 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

The skinny on the study’s details

When the sun’s UV rays hit skin, the body produces extra melanin. This is a pigment in the epidermis (Ep-ih-DUR-mis), the skin’s outmost layer. Some types of skin can make enough melanin to give them a protective suntan. Others cannot. When a lot of sunlight hits their skin, the deposited energy can cause a painful reddening or even blistering. Sunburn, or even a suntan, can increase the risk of skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“We wanted to evaluate those people who can actually burn,” Hao notes. So his team chose participants who had skin that fell into types I, II and III on the…

We Can Print Human Skin Now

This may be technology at its coolest. Or grossest. Or both. We’d say both. Scientists in Madrid have figured out a way to produce functional sheets of human skin using a 3D printer. They published their results in the journal Biofabrication.

Scientists have really seized 3D printing as a solution to all kinds of problems. In the last few years, they’ve developed techniques for printing cardiac stents, artificial rat models to spare real rats from dissection—even human jawbones and ears. Other researchers have been hard at work growing human skin in the laboratory.

The team in Madrid decided to put the two concepts together. As you can imagine, this was not a simple matter of loading up the ink and hitting a button. The team built a brand-new type of bioprinter…