Food Friday: Does Whey Protein Cause Acne?

(another) Friday Night's in America

Does whey protein cause acne? A new study shows it might.

This past August, Dr. Nancy Silverberg, a New York dermatologist, published a study in the journal Cutis that suggests whey protein supplements may exacerbate acne in adolescent males.

Some relatively recent studies show that whey is potentially comedogenic (pore-clogging) in certain teenage males. Intrigued by these studies, Dr. Silverberg looked at five male adolescent patients who were developing globular acne who were also consuming whey supplements to gain weight. When the boys stopped the supplements their acne was much more responsive to treatments. One young man who had two courses of isotrentinoin (Accutane), didn’t see an improvement in his acne until he stopped taking whey supplements during the second round.

Dr. Silverberg thinks that doctors should begin asking both male and female teenage patients who are looking to gain weight if they’re taking whey supplements and to suggest that discontinuation may help improve their acne.

Moving forward, she plans to investigate how whey protein induces acne flares by looking at both specific age groups and the amount of whey protein used. Since many patients were resistant to stopping whey protein supplements, she’s also interested in exploring if there is some addictive property.

Click here to read an annotated version of Dr. Silverberg’s article and here to listen to Dr. Silverberg’s audiocast.

Drawbacks: Only 5 patients studies. More research and studies needed.

Has your acne worsened on whey?

Photo credit: FCC, jdanvers

Sun Safe Tee: Aiming to Keep Golfers Sun Safe

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Mark Wishner was first diagnosed with skin cancer in his mid-30‘s. “It very much caught me by surprise. It was a basal cell carcinoma that was treated successfully,” he says.

Then one day, the golf-loving San Diegan was watching a tournament on TV that took place on a scorching day. “It showed the players cooking out in the sun and I thought, Who teaches golfers to wear sunscreen?

Inspired, Wishner began researching the issue and realized no one was addressing the golf community about the importance of sun protection. He contacted a few friends and fellow golfers including Dr. Curt Littler (son of Gene Littler, who won the US Open in 1961), and soon, SunSafeTee.org was born.

Sun Safe Tee is a 501-C3 non-profit charity dedicated to educating the golf community about the importance of sun protection, the risks of skin cancer, and the benefits of early detection.

Though no studies have actually looked at the incidence of skin cancer among golfers, anecdotal evidence is strong that they are a high-risk group. “Golfers spend a lot of time in the sun. A round of golf takes between 4 1/2 to 5 hours which is a long time to be in the sun, especially without proper protection,” says Wisher.

That’s where the Sun Safe Tee program comes into play. They provide educational materials, offer skin cancer screenings, and conduct both in-person and virtual events across the country. And since several dermatologists sit on the board, Wishner assures that “all information is vetted, screened, and accurate.”

The majority of the Sun Safe Tee program is geared towards junior golfers, ages 7 to 18. “We know that sun exposure before the age of 25 is critical,” says Wisher, “so we really want to teach them while their young so they can develop a lifetime of safe sun practices.”

To reach more youth, Sun Safe Tee partners with many groups including the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). They’re also part of The First Tee curriculum, a national program dedicated to teaching children ages 7 to 18 life skills and values through the game of golf.

To date, the Sun Safe Tee curriculum has been taught to over 400,000 children. And Wishner is seeing changes in their behaviors. While at a junior golf tournament recently Wishner was talking to a teenage boy who was disappointed with his poor round. To Wishner’s amazement, the boy added, “But I did remember to reapply at the turn!”

“Don’t burn, reapply at the turn,” is one of Sun Safe Tee’s slogans. It refers to the half-way point or “the turn” in a round of golf when kids are taught to reapply sunscreen.

He’s also seeing young golfers applying sunscreen more often, using UVB- protected umbrellas on their carts that block 98 to 100 % of UV rays. And most importantly, he’s seeing them cover up. “Wearing clothing as a non-chemical, physical barrier to the sun is just about the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the sun,” says Wishner. So he never tires of telling the kids, “Cover up before you tee it up!”

It’s those kind of behavioral changes that buoy Wishner’s resolve. ”We’d love to see skin cancer get the kind of national public awareness that other diseases like Alzheimer’s have gotten, especially in the golf community,” says Wishner. To that end, he’s seeking a professional golfer who would like to champion the cause and continues to plan exciting events in conjunction with golf tournaments across the country.

If you’d like to sponsor a Sun Safe Tee event at your organization then email Mark Wishner at mwishner {AT} sunsafetee {DOT} org. For more information about Sun Safe Tee, visit their website at SunSafeTee.org.

Photo credit: FCC, Makelessnoise

Guest post written by Susan Russo.

4 Back-to-School Habits For a Healthy Family

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Millions of kids across the country will be starting school this week and learning new routines. It’s not a bad idea for moms and dads too. (Starting new routines, not retaking 6th grade).

Even if they don’t need help with fractions, your kids could you use some help from Mom and Dad. Kids who see parents engaged in healthy behaviors are more likely to follow their lead. With that in mind, here are few tips to help make back-to-school time a little easier and healthier for the whole family.

1. Sleep TIme: Establish a light outs time when everyone needs to be in bed. Kids need anywhere from 8 to 11 hours of sleep per night, depending on their age, activity level, and personal needs. Parents could benefit from more sleep too. So set your alarm at night to tell you when to go to bed to ensure you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. And don’t hit the snooze button when it goes off.

2. Eat Meals Together: Studies show that children who eat meals with their families are less likely to have behavioral problems, more likely to do well in school, and more likely to have a healthier diet. It doesn’t have to be dinner. Any meal counts, including breakfast.

3. Digital & Device-Free Time: Set a time, maybe 30 or 60 minutes a day, when everyone in the family has to be digital and device-free — no texting, emailing, tweeting, or pinning.

4. Move Together: We all know exercise is good for us. It’s especially important for kids. According to Let’s Move.gov, 8 to 18 year-olds spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using digital devices such as computers and cell phones, while only 1/3 of high school students get the recommended level of physical activity. Set times when the family will do something fun and active together: it could be Sunday morning bike rides, Friday afternoon swims, or nightly dancing to Wii. My 10-year-old niece highly recommends Just Dance 3 with Katy Perry.

What are your healthy family habits? Please share them with us below.

Photo credit: FCC, USDAgov

Great Hack to Help Your Kid with Eczema

Kids with eczema suffer terrible itching. We know that one of the best defenses against itching is applying lotions — lots of it — every day. But how do you get your child to do it? I’ll show you a great tip to help your child apply his lotion every day.

How about you? Got any tips to share for parents? Any suggestions for helping kids apply lotion more regularly? Please share them in the comment section below.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Kid’s Sunscreen

A mom came into my office the other day complaining of acne. She had switched from her regular sunscreen to her kid’s sunscreen thinking it would be gentler on her face. But her acne got worse.

That’s because kid’s sunscreens are meant to be extra protective, so their ingredients are more likely to clog pores in adults, leading to acne.

I told her to use an adult “non-comedogenic” or non-pimple forming facial sunscreen such as Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunblock SPF 55 or Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock for the Face, SPF 30.

Save the kid’s sunscreen for little Olivia. I also don’t recommend using her Desitin. But that’s for another post.

Photo credit: E-13ss

How To Use Alcohol Sanitizer Correctly

Did you pack an alcohol sanitizer in your child’s backpack? Bacteria love to hang-out at schools and methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial bad-boy that you want your children to stay away from. Alcohol sanitizers are a great way to reduce the risk of infection. Be sure you choose one with at least 60% alcohol, and be sure to use it right way. Not sure how? Watch and I’ll show you.