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Vitamin C as a skin preserver.

Vitamin C As a Skin Preserver

The prospect of using a cream containing vitamin C against sunburn and as an anti-cancer bulwark is inching closer to reality.

Researchers have completed a product containing high concentrations of vitamin C for which a patent is being applied.

Among topical vitamin C's surprising properties, the inventors attest, are its protective qualities and the anti-inflammatory effects. Once applied to the skin, they say, it can't be washed off, sweated off, or rubbed off.

Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, chief of dermatology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, one of the product's proponents, said that in experiments topical vitamin C. afforded more protection than other substances. Traditional sunscreens, he explained, are formulated to absorb certain ultraviolet wavelenghts likely to damage skin. In contrast, vitamin C appeared to have a wavelenght-independent effect that lasted three days, even when pigs were scrubbed with soap.

Topical vitamin C, Dr. Pinnell asserted, when used by itself might prevent sun damage without blocking vitamin D synthesis, which occurs when ordinary sunscreens are used. It might also stimulate melanin production without damaging neighboring cells, another dermatologist, James Leyden said. Safer tanning, he predicted, would make the new product a commercial success.

Can the preparation quench oxygen free radicals? If that theory is correct, speculates Dr. Pennell, Topical Vitamin C preparation might help guard against other hazards of life in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, such as wrinkling and skin cancers.

Should a patent be granted, the Food and Drug Administration will probably be asked to approve the preparation for prescription use, Dr. Pinnell predicted.
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Title Annotation:Duke University Medical Center research
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1991
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