Monday, 18 July 2011
Attention readers currently slathering on aloe: scientists at King's College in Londonhave found the molecule that causes sunburns to be painful! Why is this cause for celebration? Because it may help lead to more effective pain treatments for sunburn as well as other inflammatory conditions.
They found that sunburns are painful because of the protein CXCL5, "which recruits inflammatory immune cells to damaged tissue" and causes stinging. Volunteers were asked to expose a small patch of skin to UVB radiation, which was then biopsied two days later to look for proteins associated with the pain. CXCL5 was one of the pain mediators that were "over-expressed," so scientists took this knowledge and tested it on rats. When treated with an antibody that neutralized CXCL5, the rats' sensitivity to pain was greatly reduced.
As a pale girl whose mom is a skin cancer survivor, I'd much rather them have found a miracle alternative to sunscreen, but hey! I'm a total baby when I get burned (because I rarely do; I'm careful), so having something to effectively ease the pain will be a welcome relief!
But until these new treatments are developed, Healthkickers, what's your best sunburn pain remedy?