Plutonium-fueled DeLoreans are still the stuff of fiction, so we can't go back in time and undo our sun sins. But new discoveries can help reduce your future risk of developing skin cancer. Here's the latest:
In your cosmetics case: Prescription retinoids (such as Retin-A and Renova), potent versions of vitamin A creams, have been proven to reverse some of the cellular changes associated with skin cancer. They can make you more sensitive to sun, however, so apply at night and be extra vigilant about wearing sunscreen during the day.
In your medicine cabinet: "Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] such as ibuprofen may help prevent skin cancer," says James M. Spencer, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people who took NSAIDs twice a week had a lower risk for squamous cell carcinoma. Are NSAIDs for you? Stay tuned for further research.
In your future: Dimericine cream (in clinical trials) contains enzymes that have been shown in human studies to help repair the DNA damage caused by sunlight when applied after UV exposure. One study showed a 30 percent reduction in basal cells and a 68 percent reduction in actinic keratoses, the precursors to squamous cell carcinoma.