Complexity becomes more pronounced with age.
The darker the complexion, the more likely a person is to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which is a neurodegenerative disease.
“It’s a bit like the sun.
You get darker and darker and worse,” says Dr. Chris Maitland, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurobiology at Vanderbilt University Medical School and one of the co-authors of a new study that analysed the data from the NHS’s MS screening database.
“When you’re younger, you think it’s normal, you just don’t notice it.
But with age, it gets worse.
So, it’s a complex issue, one that people are not always aware of.”
Maitland’s team looked at the prevalence of MS in a sample of 2,547 people who were aged 25-64, and compared it to their appearance as a whole.
They found that those who had darker skin were more likely to have MS.
The researchers also found that darker skin was associated with having a higher incidence of depression and anxiety.
Maitlands team is also examining whether skin bleaching practices, such as wearing a sunscreen or using a sunblock, might contribute to the risk of MS.
But the team’s results suggest that the skin is not the main risk factor for the disease, as the study did not find a relationship between skin bleached or skin discoloration and MS prevalence.
In addition, the researchers noted that there was a correlation between skin discolorations and more than four other conditions, including diabetes, asthma and asthma exacerbation.
“There are lots of other things that can go wrong with the skin,” Maitlands says.
“The best thing to do is to do skin tests and to get an opinion from a dermatologist about how much sun exposure you have and what the underlying cause is.”
“It can be really difficult to get a good assessment if you have dark skin because the people who have MS, they’re not going to be able to tell you.”
The team’s findings are not surprising.
A 2016 report from the World Health Organization found that over a third of adults in the United States are living with MS, and that up to 80% of people with MS live with a disability.
The study also found the majority of MS cases are related to skin discorations, which have a number of potential causes, including skin cancers.
“Skin is a huge target, and we need to find out more about what causes skin disco.
We also need to understand what factors can be related to the skin discoria,” Mietland says.”
If you have skin problems, there is a chance you may be at risk for developing MS.
It’s one of those diseases that you don’t know if you’re at risk or not.”
In addition to the health consequences, there are also societal implications for darker skin, Maitlanders team noted.
“It is a shame that people don’t think about the impact of skin discos.
There’s an increasing trend of people choosing to do things like sunbathe more often, which increases the risk for melanoma, and even more so for skin cancers,” he says.
“I think that’s a huge thing to take note of.
It could have potentially been prevented with better prevention techniques.
It also makes it more difficult for someone with MS to get the treatment they need, if they’re at high risk for MS.”
So, it needs to be addressed, not just by the medical community but also the public.
We need to do more research on this topic.
“Source: BBC News article