It was the summer of ____. What fond memories long summer days bring. We’ve changed so much, but our love for summer remains the same.
Today, June 25, 2013, is World Vitiligo Day, a day that aims to increase awareness of vitiligo and raise funds needed for research and education.
Michael Jackson, one of the most famous entertainers in the world, suffered from vitiligo. And even after his death it’s still one of the most misunderstood things about the king of pop. Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which there is a loss of color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin. It’s the reason one of the most famous men on the planet went from black to white.
Well over 100 million people from all over the world suffer from this disease. It affects all nationalities, ages, genders and levels of social strata.
Vitiligo is an acquired disease characterized by progressing skin depigmentation, due to destruction or malfunction of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin. It is present worldwide, and its prevalence in different countries ranges from less than 0.1% to more than 8% of general population (~1% in the United States and in Europe), while many cases go unreported due to the current dermatology practice.
Although vitiligo has impacted the lives of millions of individuals since recorded history, predominantly in the developing world, there is no cure in sight. And because it is not contagious or life-threatening, patients often receive no support from national healthcare systems or insurance companies whatsoever.
The World Vitiligo Day is a public initiative aimed at building global awareness about vitiligo. Click here to join a list of 500,000 signatures needed to address the United Nations and highlight vitiligo.
Check out these resources on vitiligo:
Firmly committed to curing Vitiligo, the VR Foundation is a non-profit organization funding and fast-tracking medical research across the biomedical spectrum. With bio-IT tools, it provides a collaborative an environment to bridge the gap between scientific frontiers and the patients who need treatment. The VRF has recently joined a group of biotech companies that are bypassing traditional mass-market cosmetic and orphan drug development indications to expedite product development.
Vitiligo Bond Inc.
Founded in November 2010, Vitiligo Bond Inc. (VBI) is a registered nonprofit 501c(3) organization that aims to provide support for those living with vitiligo. VBI has grown into a worldwide support group, through its Facebook and social media presence. As an advocacy organization, VBI is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for vitiligo; increasing awareness of vitiligo spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with vitiligo and their families. Natasha Pierre, founder of VBI, is a current vitiligan. Her experience in living with the skin disorder has given her the passion and understanding of vitiligo.
American Academy of Dermatology
The AAD is the largest, most influential and most representative dermatology group in the United States. With a membership of more than 17,000, it represents virtually all practicing dermatologists in the United States, as well as a growing number of international dermatologists. Read what the AAD says about vitiligo and the importance of sun protection. Find a board certified dermatologist.
Read about other famous people with vitiligo: NY Jets DL Coach Karl Dunbar – Seeing Beyond My Vitiligo.
Michael Jackson photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson
A portion of this post is part of a news release originally published by the VR Foundation.
Anticipation is growing as everyone awaits a weekend filled with water play, lip-smacking barbeques and grand firework displays this Independence Day. While the 4th of July can be fun, it can also be a hazardous day, especially for children who do not understand the dangers associated with some of the traditional festivities. This 4th of July, keep these simple safety precautions in mind when you and your kids are out at play.
Whether this Independence Day is sunny or cloudy, you and your family will need sun protection when outdoors. If you’ll be around water, remember that the sun’s UV rays reflect off of the water’s surface, so you and your kids will be getting sun exposure in all directions! Be SunAWARE and protect yourself and your family from the problems associated with sun exposure by following these steps:
Be Alert Around Water
Any body of water can be dangerous for children who are not under close adult supervision. The American Red Cross offers this safety advice when in or around water.
* Actively supervise children whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
* Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
* Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. This includes when boating too.
* Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
See all of the American Red Cross water safety tips.
Play it Safe with Fireworks
Each year approximately 8,800 people visit the emergency room due to firework-related injuries. The risk of fireworks injury is highest for kids ages 10 to 14 – more than twice the risk for the general population. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asks that you please use the following safety measures if fireworks are legal in your area and you plan on creating your own celebratory display.
* Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
* Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Young children often suffer injuries from sparklers, which burn at temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals.
* Never place any part of your body directly over a firework when lighting the fuse. Back up a safe distance immediately after igniting.
* Never re-light or pick-up fireworks that have not ignited fully. If possible reach them with a hose and dowse with water before approaching.
* Keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case of fire and to dowse fireworks after use.
See all of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission firework safety tips.
Have a fun and safe Independence Day!
Texas will now join California, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada in prohibiting tanning beds for minors younger than 18 years of age. This announcement comes shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.
Anti-skin cancer organizations are pleased and hope to see a decrease in skin cancer rates over time. “The American Academy of Dermatology Association is proud to have supported this legislation and commends the state of Texas for joining the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood.”
Legislation prohibiting the use of indoor tanning beds by minors under 18 passed both the Texas Senate and House in May. Gov. Rick Perry did not sign or veto the bill within the 20-day period. Therefore, the bill automatically became law. The ban will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2013.
If you play tennis, you know it’s sometimes difficult to find shade on outdoor courts. So this summer, Twin City Tennis Camp, a local Minnesota business, is taking great strides to educate youth and their parents on the importance of using sun protection both on and off the court.
Since I started the organization in 1999, Twin City Tennis Camp has been committed to providing kids interested in tennis a healthy, fun and athletic atmosphere. Tennis is a lifetime sport, and we want campers to have fun and stay safe!
To promote sun safety on and off the court, I reached out to Coolibar- Sun Protection You Wear to help me educate parents and players on the importance of sun protection. Coolibar is a part of our local community and once I saw the superiority of the different fabrics, I knew we had to work together. I love the 3d dri pro SUNTECT® items for tennis!
This summer, we are providing sunscreen during tournaments and informationa to educate the importance of sun safety. I want to set an example for the kids and show that wearing UPF 50+ items and broad-spectrum sunscreen is not only cool (pun intended), it will keep me safe from the sun. I am excited to begin educating the kids, while still helping them perfect their tennis stroke.
– Dan Nabedrick
“Many have the will to win, but few have the will to PREPARE to win”
To learn more about Dan Nabedrick’s Twin City Tennis Camps and commitment to safety, visit http://www.twincitytenniscamps.com/
Summer camp is jam-packed with activities from sunrise to sunset. Counselors and camp staff make it a priority to ensure safety of all campers; however, with the rigorous reapplication routine sunscreen requires, sometimes sun protection may be overlooked in all the commotion. Sunburn and skin damage are easily preventable. Educating and equipping children with good sun protection habits prior to the start of camp is essential.
While sunscreen is a necessity, adding additional forms of sun protection may ease parental anxiety.
SUN PROTECTION STRATEGIES FOR SUMMER CAMP
1. Pack sun protective swimwear and clothing: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using sun protective clothing first, followed by sunscreen. A WHITE COTTON T-SHIRT WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM THE SUN! In fact, it only offers an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7, and even less when wet. UPF and SPF ratings for sunscreens are similar, but UPF is the standard for clothing and accounts for both UVB and UVA rays. When shopping for UPF clothing, look for a UPF 50+ rating, the highest rating available. This means a garment will block 98% or more of UVA and UVB rays. Swim shirts (also known as rash guards), are great for extended water play since the sun protection will not wash out.
2. Remember a wide brim hat: To be protective, a hat must have a 3” brim or greater (for toddlers this might be less) or a flap in the back to cover the ears and neck if it’s a baseball style cap. Hats also protects the scalp, especially along the part-line.
3. Wrap on UV sunglasses: Eyes are susceptible to sunburn too, and not all sunglasses protect against UV. Opt for a pair of wrap style sunglasses that fit closer to the face so UV rays don’t leak in the sides. Look for sunglasses labeled UV 400 or blocks 99% or greater of UVA and UVB rays. For younger kids, purchase sunglasses with straps to keep them secure.
4. Choose the right sunscreen: Most kids will be active, so look for brands that offer better protection in water or while sweating. Also remember the following:
- Look at the label. Many parents assume the higher the SPF the better, which is not necessarily the case. Look for quality ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical sunscreen ingredients. Choose an SPF of 30 that’s labeled broad spectrum, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Avoid aerosol sunscreens. The major drawback of a continuous spray sunscreen is that it could get into the eyes or inhaled by a child, long-term data on those effects are unknown.
- Apply generous amounts on exposed skin. Start with the neck down, covering thick and evenly on all areas of the body, not forgetting the ears, backs of the hands, crease of the neck, underarms, between the fingers, underneath the bathing suit (if it’s not sun protective). After covering those major areas, do the face last. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of UV reaches the Earth’s surface.
- Reapply. According to new Food and Drug Administration guidelines for sunscreens, labels must display a reapplication time of either 40 or 80 minutes and after swimming or sweating. Remember to do so.
5. Inquire about camp sunscreen application policies: Most camps are like schools, sunscreen is not allowed without written consent. Also, camp staff are often discouraged from helping kids apply sunscreen. Teach children to do their best applying sunscreen everywhere they can reach and ask for help on spots like their back.
Dr. Amy Brodsky, founder of the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation is advocating a comprehensive sun protection strategy for her kids and hopes other parents will catch on. “I’m a dermatologist and a mom who has seen a lot of skin cancer and aging skin in my practice, so it’s only natural to want my own kids and others to think of wearing sun protection as the norm and sun protective shirts and sunscreen as cool,” said Dr. Brodsky. Dr. Brodsky often refers to the four-S’s to teach kids and parents alike the key skin cancer prevention measures — sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protective shirts, and sun hats.”
More about the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and sun protection advice for parents.
Read what the American Camping Association has to say about fun in the sun.
Follow SunAWARE for easy to remember steps for sun protection.
Ever thought about completing a Half Ironman for the personal challenge alone? Coolibar athlete, runner, mother, and nurse practitioner Sarah Gay finally reached her goal of finishing her first Half Ironman. Her vivacious recap may get you thinking about trying one too.
My first half Ironman, 70.3, 1.2/56/13.1, however you slice it, I did it! It was an absolutely beautiful day for a race. After about a week of rain the sun finally came out and put on a show. Overall, I completed the race just about where I was expecting 6:45. My swim went well. When I got out of the water I was off to a great start. I had already planned in my head to take my time in the first transition, and to put on well padded bike shorts because for 56 miles of biking, comfort was high on my list of priorities. As usual, I got stuck in my wetsuit (those things are hard to get off!). About four minutes later, off I went on my bike. I am very proud to say I biked much faster than I was expecting! All my training really worked!
I loved seeing my family on the sidelines cheering me on, and it gave me that extra push I needed to get into transition two — the run. Again, comfort for a long run was key, and I took the time to put on my Coolibar Swim Skort (yes, it’s super comfy for running too) and Super Sport Hat. After a quick pit stop, I was on my way and feeling strong. A few miles in, someone approached me and commented on how I had excellent form and a great stride! That was a first! I had to laugh, because then she just carried right on past me! No worries, I have 13 miles. I was just getting warmed up. I was frustrated, though, by the fact that during the run I needed to make two more pit stops, which had me walking for a bit. After all those miles, once I started walking, it was hard to get running again. I did, though! The end result was a run a split second slower than I was hoping, but I finished strong, crossing the finish line running. Most importantly, I was able to give my finisher’s medal to my daughter who thinks the only reason I do these triathlons is to give her the “triathlon necklaces” afterwards!
As I write it is 6 am Sunday morning (the day after), I am wide awake at 5 am without a workout planned — a very strange feeling! As I take stock of things now, I’m still feeling very proud of myself for reaching this goal. Not only did I finish but I felt good doing so. Yes, I was TIRED yesterday. But a good tired, not a sick tired. Going over the race in my head, I have to admit I’m still a little frustrated by the run, but that is one of the things that I love so much about triathlon. There is always something to improve upon. It’s an addicting game I play in my head: What’s next? Okay, goal one: finish. Goal two: I’m already thinking I need to do this distance again next year to achieve a better run time! Goal three: well, today is Father’s Day, so I think I better go out and get my husband a card. I just didn’t have the chance yesterday!
Skin for Life, an annual fundraiser hosted by Advanced Dermatology in Lincolnshire, IL not only raised over $14,000 for the Skin Cancer Foundation, but put on a stellar runway show featuring Coolibar sun protective clothing. Check out photos from the runway.
Photo credits: Photo Affair Studios
Shop the look:
Photo 3: Beach Tunic
Photo 4: Fitness Jacket
Photo 5: Convertible Polo
Photo 6: Convertible Polo
Photo 8: Pareo
Photo 10: Sunblock Jacket
Photo 12: Vera Shores Tunic
Just in time for Father’s Day, Christopher Lewis, the Dad of Divas Blog Founder, reviews Coolibar’s latest UPF 50+ fabric innovation created for men – ZnO pro. ZnO pro SUNTECT® blends cotton with a moisture-wicking polyester fiber to improve performance in hot, humid conditions where the propensity to sweat is high.
I was lucky enough to try out the new Coolibar ZnO Pro Quarter Zip Polo. I am always looking for clothes that look great but also protect. Especially after a fire that we had in my home in February and the ensuing hospitalization over Valentine’s Day, I have found that I have to cover my left arm and the skin that I burned even more than usual.
With this being said it has become even more important for me to find clothes that give me that extra protection no matter what the weather and Coolibar clothing does just that.
The shirt itself was so comfortable and it breathes making it comfortable to wear even on warmer days. I wore it the other day when it was in the mid-70’s and I did not feel overheated. The shirt does an amazing job at allowing the air to circulate while still protecting my skin.
I have worn it a few times already, both in family outings as well as to dinner with friends. The shirt is more of a business casual shirt, but I feel comfortable in wearing it in casual situations as well. It looks good and trendy, while at the same time it goes with many different types of pants as well. I am impressed with how well this shirt has gone with everything that I have worn thus far. On top of this though is the UPF 50+ rating that will protect me from the harmful sun rays, which is exactly what I am looking for!
All-in-all, if you are looking for a shirt that will not only protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, but is comfortable in the heat of the summer, this is definitely the shirt to pick up. On top of this, if you are looking for a lightweight shirt that is durable, the fabric used will definitely hold up for many years to come too!
Guest blogger Christopher Lewis received free sun protective product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are his own.
If you’re one of the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis—the most common autoimmune disease in the country—summer can be a blessing and a challenge. Psoriasis often improves with warm weather, but many people with psoriasis are also self-conscious about showing their skin.
While symptoms of psoriasis may improve due to extra sunlight and increased humidity, it’s important to make sure psoriasis doesn’t flare. Here are some tips from the National Psoriasis Foundation to help keep your skin healthy.
Limited sun exposure
Sunlight can be beneficial for psoriasis. As with any treatment regimen, be sure to talk with your doctor as they can recommend the appropriate amount of sunlight. They can also caution you about how the sunlight may affect your current psoriasis treatments. Some medications may be inactivated by sunlight, while others may make you more susceptible to sunburns and side effects.
In addition to skin cancer risk, sunburn can worsen existing psoriasis or cause new plaques, known as the Koebner effect. Avoid overexposure and wear sunscreen on areas without psoriasis. Experts suggest starting with just a few minutes of sun at a time and gradually increasing exposure if your skin tolerates it. Look for water and sweat-resistant, fragrance-free sunscreens and wear sun-protective clothing when outdoors for longer periods of time. Read more about sunlight and psoriasis.
Beware of bug bites
Bug bites and poison oak/ivy can also trigger psoriasis. To protect from bug bites, cuts and scrapes that could worsen psoriasis, apply an insect repellent with little or no DEET. Covering up can help, too. Loose, cotton clothing is best to avoid skin irritation from sweating or itchy fibers.
For many psoriasis patients, salt water and swimming pools can soften skin and plaques. Chlorine can dry out skin, so be sure to shower immediately after swimming with chlorine-removing shampoos and soaps. Apply moisturizer to damp skin to lock in moisture, and try thick creams and ointments, which are more hydrating than lotions. Be careful with hot water and long soaks in hot tubs as they can increase itching and irritation.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.