People’s Pharmacy: Don’t count on aspirin to prevent sunburn | Health


Q • I recently read in your column that aspirin might reduce the effects of solar ultraviolet rays. I’m skeptical.

I take a full-strength aspirin every day because I don’t like the medications my cardiologist recommends. She doesn’t argue.

Despite that, I burn very easily. I also have skin cancer and a lot of precancerous lesions. Those may be due, in part, to my misspent youth when I got absolutely broiled every year. Perhaps I am an exception, but people shouldn’t rely on aspirin to prevent sun damage.

A • There are a number of compounds that can reduce the risk of ultraviolet skin damage when taken orally. These include aspirin, blackberry extract and luteolin (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2021; Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, April 1, 2015; Molecular Medicine Reports, September 2016).

None of these will substitute for conscientious sunscreen use and common sense. Wearing protective clothing and staying out of the midday sun are the foundation of skin protection. That’s especially true for someone like you, who is so sensitive to sun damage.

Q • Since I started using Trelegy for my asthma, my voice has been hoarse. I also feel hungry more often. Do other Trelegy users complain about these problems?



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