Archive for September 2010

Breast Cancer Scars and Vitamin C


I am a 49-year-old woman with breast cancer currently undergoing chemotherapy after my surgical treatment. During my research on line, I read information related to the topical use of vitamin C to improve skin healing related to breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Can you explain the science related to the material I have read on the internet?


Ultraviolet rays and other inflammatory insults, such as cigarette smoking and pollutants, create free radicals (molecules that poison DNA, proteins and lipids) that cause photoaging of the skin. It has been demonstrated that the skin’s native antioxidant protection (molecules that neutralize the free radical poison) breaks down during excessive UV injury and promotes aging due to the fact that there are more free radicals created by the UV damage than there are antioxidant molecules available in the skin. This allows free radicals to damage DNA, proteins, and lipids causing skin cells to die.

With this background information, it should be no surprise that breast cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, and medication required post-breast cancer treatment create a large free radical burden on the body and skin.

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin. The body cannot synthesize L-ascorbic acid, so humans rely on dietary intake or topical application for their supply of vitamin C. It must be ingested from vitamin supplements, food sources (such as citrus fruits, dark-green leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, green and red peppers, brussel sprouts, and turnips) or applied topically to the skin to replenish L-ascorbic acid in the body and skin. Vitamin C is essential for normal cell growth, collagen synthesis, and wound healing.

Oral vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) cannot deliver an adequate amount of L-ascorbic acid to the skin (epidermis). Conversely, topical vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) cannot deliver an adequate amount of vitamin C to the body.

The skin relies on antioxidants for protection against free radicals. Since the skin receives the most free radical assault from ultraviolet light exposure, cancer, and the effects related to cancer treatment, replenishing and increasing the antioxidant defense of the skin becomes an attractive strategy for wound healing. Oral vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is extremely important to restore and increase the body’s stores of water-soluble antioxidants, but cannot deliver an adequate amount of L-ascorbic acid to the skin (epidermis). If antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, can be delivered into the skin and body with an adequate concentration and the precise bioactive chemical form, skin cell rejuvenation, skin cell growth, and collagen synthesis are increased.

If antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, could be delivered into the skin with an adequate high concentration, the precise bioactive chemical form with an appropriate pH, and packaging that avoids oxidation prior to application, then the antioxidant protective reservoir in the skin could be increased. Photo-repair and skin cell repair necessary for healing sun-damage and tissue wound healing, respectfully, would be enhanced.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is important to enhance the natural antioxidant potential of the body and skin. In order to replenish antioxidant reservoirs in the skin, Rx Systems PF created Age Defense Antioxidant Serum C (L-ascorbic acid) in its Age-Bloc Delivery System. There is a need to replenish and maintain internal oxidants that nourish the body and skin from the inside. Rx Systems PF’s Age Defense Antioxidant Complex (natural, anti-aging, neutralizing, antioxidant complex) is the next generation of an oral (systemic) antioxidant supplement.

Excessive Underarm Sweating


It has been a very hot summer in St. Louis which has made me realize just how severe and embarrassing my armpit sweating has been. I had to change blouses several times a day as my sweating stained the armpits of the blouses and in some cases ruined blouses creating a huge expense just buying new clothes. I tried every deodorant and antiperspirant on the market including those for men without any benefit. I see ads on TV that claim there is a treatment for excessive sweating. Is that true?


There are people who have abnormal excessive armpit sweating. The medical diagnosis for this condition is called “axillary hyperhidrosis.” Most patients suffer with this condition for years before seeking medical evaluation. The embarrassment and feeling that nothing can be done to treat the condition causes patients to delay evaluation and treatment options for the excessive sweating. Severe axillary hyperhidrosis is a debilitating disease characterized by markedly excessive sweating which severely limits patients’ abilities to carry on daily activities. There are tests to measure the severity of axillary sweating, however, this is usually confirmed by history and physical examination of clothing.

The psychological impairment includes unwillingness to participate in physical activities and social events. Economic loss includes the destruction of blouses, shirts, sweaters, and other clothing and excessive cleaning bills. I think the TV advertisements have created an awareness that there are a number of treatment options for excessive armpit sweating if over-the-counter preparations are not effective. This requires evaluation by a physician trained in the treatment of this condition.

Dermatologists are the most qualified in this area, however, some other physicians may have expertise treating excessive armpit sweating. There are topical prescription medications, such as drysol solution and other topical preparations. There are also oral medications used to treat excessive armpit sweating, however, they may have unwanted side effects.

With a diagnosis of severe axillary hyperhidrosis and failure to respond to oral and topical treatment, Botox injections are an effective alternative. Botox, botulinium type A, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2004 for the treatment of severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis that is inadequately managed with topical and oral medication. This treatment is very effective, but needs to be repeated at about six-month intervals. The treatment is not always covered by medical insurance, but can be submitted to the insurance company to determine cost coverage by one’s insurance plan. Obviously, the treatments with Botox are expensive.

Although there are surgical treatments available for excessive armpit sweating, they should be a last resort and clearly have significant expense and possible side effects or complications, along with the fact that the surgery is not always effective. The first step is to seek evaluation and treatment from a dermatologist.