“ The Sun Box” [UV Rays Exposed] Chris Scott HC 177: Biotechnology + Art Sociology Major February 12 th , 2010
Abstract Through the creation of a device that can read and record the skin’s reaction to UV exposure caused by a machine like the common tanning bed, one would be able to see within a few sittings the various damages caused to the skin by exposure to UV-rays. The device would record the skin’s texture both before and after exposure to UV rays. After exposure, the device/technology would allow for one to view, perhaps instantly, what specific damages have been caused by UV-rays and even predict what further exposure would look like. The intent of the project is to highlight the damages caused by UV radiation in a way that is easily understandable to the general public. The feature that allows people to see down the line what the effects of exposure (especially the aging of skin) would look like might encourage people to better protect themselves.
Concept & Topic I am interested in finding more artistic and digital ways of depicting the sun’s effects on our skin, especially the skin on our faces. Often times, such simple and appealing visualizations have a greater impact on people who are otherwise unknowledgeable about all of the scientific jargon related to such harmful effects. People are often persuaded by science that can not only tell, but show the “before-and-after” effects as well as “long-term” effects, and do so instantly or in a relatively short period of time.
Context & Precedents According to the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, surpassing lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancer 1 . Exposure to ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or a tanning bed, increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, and teenagers are considered among the most vulnerable 2 . Exposure to UV radiation by the sun and tanning beds can induce the thinning of the skin which causes wrinkles, blood vessel changes that cause easy bruising, tearing, bumps, and pigment changes in the skin. Currently, the use of a “dermatoscope” aids dermatologists in examining skin lesions. Digital dermatoscopy (videodermatoscopy) is used for monitoring skin lesions suspicious of melanoma. Digital dermatoscopy images are stored and compared to images obtained during the patient's next visit. Suspicious changes in such a lesion are an indication for excision 3 .
A device integrating this dermatoscope and videodermatoscopy might allow us to view the effects of UV rays as they’re actually touching our skin. Placed in various locations throughout the tanning bed, the device would video-record the skin before its exposure to UV rays and then during the entire tanning process. The recordings would be transmitted to some type of software that could analyze the effects/changes. Project Proposal (1)
The software then performs two tasks: (1) it analyzes the instant effects from that specific occasion of exposure to UV rays. The program identifies some of the effects, which include the formation of cataracts and retinal damage in the eyes, beginning formations of moles and freckles, and enhanced wrinkles. It also identifies redness in the skin and sunspots. The program identifies the type(s) of cancer associated with each blemish. Project Proposal (2) Skin BEFORE exposure to UV Software identifies & illuminates effects of UV on skin after session Enhanced Wrinkles New Freckle is Forming Formation of New Mole Cataract Forming More Wrinkles SUNBURNED ALL OVER Retinal Damage Sunspot Formation
After it identifies the new blemishes, it (2) enhances those blemishes and futuristically predicts what the person will look like after a specified amount of time given a certain interval of tanning and/or sun exposure. Project Proposal (3) Software identifies & illuminates effects of UV on skin after session Enhanced Wrinkles New Freckle is Forming Formation of New Mole Cataract Forming More Wrinkles SUNBURNED ALL OVER Retinal Damage Sunspot Formation Software predicts the effects of UV over the long term (much older looking)
Conclusion I realize that there are a couple issues with this invention that could use some addressing. There are debates as to the degree to which a tanning bed replicates the UV-A and UV-B emitted by the sun. Many tanning beds (claim to) emit less of one or the other, the fact remains clear that tanning beds do have similar harmful effects on human skin as the sun has. So this invention could apply to either or both points that both the sun and tanning beds are harmful. I realize too that it would be hard to market this invention. People who do not go into tanning beds regularly most-likely wouldn’t start just so they could see the before-and-after effects. And people who use tanning beds regularly probably don’t want to know either way. Tanning bed companies certainly won’t be thrilled about this. This technology would most-likely be used for scientific research purposes where regular tanners at the tanning bed salons might have to be enticed with a good deal on tanning (like free) so that this research could be conducted on them. Only then might the technological advances displaying to them the harmful effects that UV radiation has on their skin actually be enticing and convincing enough to make a difference. Displaying results on news networks might be another way to convince people.
References 1. “Common Cancer Types”. National Cancer Institute. ( http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/commoncancers ) 2. Narayan, Adi. “Cancer and Teen Tanning: Where’s the Regulation?” Time Magazine. 12 October 2009. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1927282,00.html . 3. Argenziano, G; Mordente; Ferrara; Sgambato; Annese; Zalaudek (2008). "Dermoscopic monitoring of melanocytic skin lesions: clinical outcome and patient compliance vary according to follow-up protocols". The British journal of dermatology. 159(2): 331–6.
Bibliography Brannon, Heather. “Effects of Sun on the Skin: Visible Skin Changes Caused by UV Radiation”. About.com: Dermatology. 23 March 2007. ( http://dermatology.about.com/cs/beauty/a/suneffect_2.htm ) “ Changes in Face With Age”. From About.com: Health Topics A-Z. 3 October 2005. ( http://adam.about.com/reports/Changes-in-face-with-age.htm ) “ Dermatoscopes”. From Dermatoscopes.com . ( http://www.dermatoscopes.com/ ) Doty, Lisa. “Myth vs. Fact: The Real Truth About Tanning, Tanning Beds, and Sun Protection”. From American Society of Dermatologic Surgery Association. 7 October 2007. ( http://www.asds.net/_NewsPage.aspx?id=56 ) “ Tanning Myths”. ( http://www.angelfire.com/yt/ radiati on/myths.html ) “ The Sun and Your Skin”. From Go Sun Smart. ( http://www.gosunsmart.org/yourskin/yourskin_effects.shtml ) “ Who: Artificial Tanning Sunbeds: Risk and Guidance”. Who International . Retrieved 29 July 2009. ( http://www.who.int/uv/publications/sunbedpubl/en/ )