• Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Atopic dermatitis: skin care is essential

    31 Aug Atopic dermatitis: skin care is essential

    Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of the skin of obscure origin. Very common in children, it tends to mitigate with age. The itchiness can be very persistent and there is no real cure, although complications can be avoided with good skin care.


    Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It usually has an intermittent course with flares and remissions of unknown origin. Experts believe it may be due to a malfunction of the skinai??i??s immune system, with genetic or environmental factors possibly contributing to its occurrence. The most characteristic symptoms are redness, dryness, blistering, oozing, crusting, scaling, itching, skin thickening and sometimes slight pigmentation. The itchiness may be felt before the rash appears. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    India bans animal testing of cosmetics

    26 Aug India bans animal testing of cosmetics

    India has become the first Asian country to ban the testing of cosmetics on live animals. Such tests are performed to check the safety of ingredients before skin tests are made on human volunteers. Numerous alternative tests exists that avoid animal suffering.


    With this initiative, India follows in the footsteps of the 27 European Union (EU) countries that applied this rule in a stepwise process starting in 2003 and ending in March 2013. However, unlike the EU, Indian health authorities will temporarily allow importation of ingredients tested on animals from other countries. Animal advocacy groups celebrate this step for a major Asian country and continue to denounce these practices in places like the USA and China.

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Sunscreens: What’s new under the sun?

    21 Aug Sunscreens: What's new under the sun?

    Sunscreens are not what they used to be. In the 1970s and 1980s, what mattered was a deep tan and UV radiation protection barely received a mention. But devastating skin cancer figures forced a rule change in a market worth about 1,000 million dollars in the USA alone and which relies on innovation to diversify.


    Correctly labelling a sunscreen is no trivial task. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken more than 30 years to bring order to the sunscreen market and set standards to test the effectiveness of products. From 18 June 2012, sunscreens sold in the USA have to comply with new rules established by the FDA. They are required to be "broad spectrumai???, i.e., they must protect against both UVA (responsible for premature ageing) and UVB (responsible for sunburn) and they must indicate how many minutes they remain effective after immersion in water. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    The skin, our biggest worry

    16 Aug The skin, our biggest worry

    The skin is our protective shield against external aggressions. It works tirelessly, day and night, year in, year out, to ensure that our body is comfortably adapted to the environment. We are all very aware that it is vital to keep our skin healthy and that's why we care for it.


    A recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that most medical consultations refer to skin problems. The research was based on an analysis of the medical records of more than 140,000 people (people of all ages, half of them men, the other half women) from Olmsted County (USA), who authorized statistical use of their data collected between 2005 and 2009. It was found that 42.7% of queries were related to various skin diseases and problems, followed by consultations regarding arthritis (33.6%), the back (23.9%) and cholesterol (22.4%), in that order. While the dermatology consultations referred to all kinds of skin conditions, acne and sebaceous cysts were the most frequent motives for consultation. It seems clear that when we observe a small change in the skin, we become more concerned than when we feel other symptoms.