Printable stickers and hair dye that respond to ultraviolet light can be used to warn people when they have been out in the sun for too long, developers claim.
Researchers from the University of Washington partnered with Microsoft to find an easy way to warn people of different skin tones about the dangers of long-term UV exposure.
The team created stickers that can be worn as patches and change color from purple to pale pink all day long to show cumulative exposure to UV light.
The hair dye is made from pigments that change color in the presence of UV light – they go from bright to pink and change in brightness with UV intensity levels.
They say the stickers are more effective because the color change is permanent and thus can only display the UV intensity at any one time rather than the cumulative exposure over the day.
The hair dye is made from pigments that change color in the presence of UV light – they go from bright to pink and change in brightness with UV intensity levels
In one trial, 35 volunteers used the stickers while in the sun and were able to determine whether they were at risk of sunburn 73 percent of the time.
The patches are made from a special type of ink that is sensitive to UV light but can be printed in any regular inkjet printer – just change the ink packs.
The ink contains a compound that produces acid when exposed to ultraviolet light and a pH-sensitive dye that is activated when the acid is detected.
They are designed to work for people of different skin tones because the hue of your skin determines how much UV exposure you are likely to be able to handle.
The team says wigs or hair dye can be formulated with single or multiple dies and depending on the UV level, the intensity of the colors would change
People with very pale skin can burn after about two to three hours of exposure, but someone with dark skin would be fine for up to six hours without burning.
The team worked around the different tones by designing three versions of the ink.
“The more you are exposed to UV, the more acid it generates and the dye changes color,” said Bichlien Nguyen of Microsoft Research. New scientist.
Year-round exposure to ultraviolet rays silently causes skin damage that goes unnoticed until sunburn, the team explained, saying they wanted to find an easy way to warn people that they may be putting their skin at risk.
“Current personal wearables for monitoring UV exposure have not seen significant uptake, which can be attributed to their one-size-fits-all aesthetic or not applicable to people of different skin tones,” they explained.
That is why they have been working on a technology that works effectively for people with different skin tones – a system they have called EcoPatches.
They “mediate a person’s relationship with their environment by enabling them to create designs and formulations that resonate with them.”
They are designed so that a user can check the color of the sticker for a brief overview of the risk of sunburn, but can get more information by scanning the sticker with a mobile phone and viewing the exposure data in an app.
The special stickers are designs to be printed in a normal inkjet with special designs that can be scanned by a phone to show the impact of the UV light on the skin
Researchers played with different designs to show the impact of UV light and how it changes throughout the day – with a mix of color and pattern
The hair dye was designed by the team of researchers in Washington as a quick and fashionable way to see the current exposure risk from UV light.
“Environmental risks often go unnoticed because they are invisible to the naked eye and pose risks to our health over time,” the team said.
Dubbed EchoHair, it uses photochromatic hair dyes that can be incorporated into any existing product to show current UV intensity.
“The head is often the part of the body that is first exposed to UV radiation, making it an excellent location for measuring UV exposure,” the team wrote.
So far, the hair dye only works on lighter colored hair and changes color after about ten seconds depending on the UV impact
“EchoHair transfers UV exposure through hair color adjustments like hair dye, mousse application or hair extensions.”
Unlike the stickers, it only shows the current intensity – the UV number often listed on the TV, but in the form of brightness of color.
So far, the hair dye approach has been shown to work effectively only on white or platinum hair – rather than dark colors – but can be used on a wig.
The patches were the most effective of the two technologies because they can work on any skin type and show exposure over time rather than just the current intensity.
Details were revealed during the Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference.
MELANOMA IS THE MOST HAZARDOUS FORM OF SKIN CANCER
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It happens after the DNA in skin cells has been damaged (usually due to harmful UV rays) and then is not repaired, causing mutations that can form malignant tumors.
There are approximately 15,900 new cases each year in the UK, with 2,285 Britons dying from the disease in 2016, according to Cancer Research UK statistics.
- Sun exposure: UV and UVB rays from the sun and tanning beds are harmful to the skin
- Birthmarks: The more birthmarks you have, the greater the risk of melanoma
- Skin type: Lighter skin has a higher risk of melanoma
- Hair color: Red heads are more at risk than others
- Personal History: Once you’ve had melanoma, you’re more likely to get it again
- Family History: Having previous family members diagnosed increases your risk
This can be done by removing the entire part of the tumor or by removing the skin layer by layer by the surgeon. When a surgeon removes it layer by layer, it helps him figure out where the cancer stops so they don’t have to remove more skin than necessary.
The patient may decide to use a skin graft if the surgery has left discoloration or a mark.
- Immunotherapy, radiation or chemotherapy:
This is necessary when the cancer reaches stage III or IV. That means that the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes or other organs in the body.
- Use sunscreen and don’t burn
- Avoid tanning outside and in beds
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside
- Keep newborns out of the sun
- Examine your skin every month
- Consult your doctor for a skin examination every year
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation and American Cancer Society