An alarming new study from the American Cancer Society finds that skin cancers are much more likely when skin is flaky, while oily skin is a greater risk for skin cancers.
The new study, published online today in the journal Archives of Dermatology, is one of the first to show that flakiness is a risk factor for skin cancer, even in healthy people.
The researchers studied nearly 3,500 people who had skin cancer in all stages of the disease and looked at the amount of collagen they had on their skin.
They found that collagen was significantly higher in skin flaky than oily or healthy skin.
The finding, researchers said, suggests that flaking skin may be a risk for cancer.
“We were surprised to find that skin flaking is associated with more skin cancers than non-flaky (skin),” said lead study author Sarah A. Sollom, PhD, an assistant professor of dermatology and cosmetic science at the University of California, San Francisco.
The study is a follow-up to one published last year that found flaky and oily skin were more common than healthy skin in people with skin cancer.
Researchers say it’s important to understand that the skin of people with cancer is different than that of the general population, and there’s no simple way to predict which people will develop skin cancers or whether they will be more prone to them.
In the new study they looked at how the amount and type of collagen that skin contains affects cancer risk.
For instance, the researchers found that flaked skin may have a higher rate of cancer when compared to healthy skin, and flaky or oily skin had a lower rate.
In general, people with healthy skin have more collagen than flaky (or oily) skin, but in healthy skin it’s the opposite, researchers say.
“People who have healthy skin tend to have more of this type of protein,” Sollam said.
“If you’re healthy, you’re usually getting a good balance of collagen and protein.
But if you have a healthy skin type, there’s a lot of flak.”
So, if you’re looking to find a healthier skin type that may not require surgery to remove or repair, it may be best to stick to non-permanent or temporary treatments.
Sollom said the study shows a correlation between flaky versus oily skin, as well as the risk of developing skin cancer if you get a skin cancer as a child.
“So what we’re really saying is that these skin types are just more likely if you are young,” she said.
“This suggests that this is a normal trait of young people that we need to work on in our lives.”
Dr. Mark W. O’Connor, PhD is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who co-authored the study.
He said the findings suggest that we don’t need to be worried about people developing skin cancers as they age.
“The results are encouraging,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor noted that flappy skin was often a sign of aging.
He added that people who are flaky have a lower level of collagen in their skin and may be more susceptible to the growth of cancer cells.
However, if the person is healthy, the risk for developing skin disease and skin cancer is lower.
O`Connor said it’s not clear whether flaky people are more likely than other people to develop skin cancer because of the fact that the study didn’t look at all people with the disease, or whether flakier skin has more risk factors for cancer than healthy, healthy skin.””
It’s important for people to remember that this study did not measure collagen levels in the skin, which is important for making a diagnosis,” he said.
In addition to Sollum, other co-authors of the study are Dr. David J. Rennie and Dr. Thomas J. Mazzarella.
Other co-investigators are Sarah C. L. M. Eberhard and Drs.
Andrew W. W. Ritchie, Rachel A. A. Hines, and Stephen M. Moulds.