Inflammation, Aspirin, and Your Skin: Study Reveals Interesting Link

Spilled PillsI have never been one to pop an OTC pain killer for headaches and the other aches and pains of life, but for those of you who keep a bottle of aspirin handy, you may find this news interesting. Science Daily has reported on research performed by the Women's Health Initiative. The researchers found that taking aspirin seems to be linked with a reduced risk of melanoma, aka the serious type of skin cancer.

Strange, but maybe not that surprising. Sun exposure, inflammation, increased free radical production, a loss of skin elasticity; it's all one downward spiral of skin aging. This study, which involved nearly 60,000 Caucasian women, aged 50-79, found a direct correlation between aspirin use and reduced skin cancer risk, with an overall 21 percent risk reduction for those women who took aspirin regularly.

Should you start taking aspirin to protect your skin? I don't know about jumping to that conclusion, but these findings do convince me to reach for the aspirin over other anti-inflammatory pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which was not associated with a reduced risk. It also bolsters the argument for a high-antioxidant diet to help protect your skin from photoaging and from skin cancer. Give me the green tea, the pomegranates, red cabbage, and dark chocolate. Antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and they help to neutralize free radicals.

Eat well, protect your skin from the sun, and don't forget a great face mask once in awhile to help nourish your skin from the outside. As for aspirin, if you already take it, perhaps you are doing your skin a great favor!


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While I love my skin, I am not actually a dermatologist or a medical professional. The information on this site is not meant to treat or diagnose any health issues.