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Viagra is great at helping patients manage their ED and is almost completely "side effect free" but advertisements may be "too good to be true." Viagra predisposes patients to skin cancers and it is something you must protect yourself from immediately.

Viagra is a medication that is considered to be the "gold-standard" therapy for erectile dysfunction [1]. Current studies suggest that there may be a link between Viagra usage and the development of skin cancers in the form of melanomas. Due to this, many patients are taking pro-active actions and switching to natural treatments for erectile dysfunction in order to find relief without the same risks. Numerous vitamins and dietary supplements for ED are on the market to help combat ED. Vitamin D from sunlight was found to be a therapy for erectile dysfunction but could this extra sunlight be damaging to your skin when taking Viagra? Here, we will cover what you need to know about Viagra and skin cancer and how to prevent melanoma if you have erectile dysfunction. 

The Link Between Viagra and Skin Cancer 

To understand the link between Viagra and skin cancer, you can start to see the link when you get into the mechanism of action of Viagra. This medication is very effective and has a limited number of side effects when a patient is healthy to make treatments very satisfying. Most studies show that Viagra will work over 90 percent of the time because of its unique mechanism of action [2]. It works by inhibiting a factor called PDE5 which forces smooth muscles to remain relaxed instead of contracting. This allows blood to flow more openly into the penis and explains why erections are so likely after patients start to take this medication. [3]

Unfortunately, not only does Viagra work on this mechanism but it also has an effect on the BRAF pathway that leads to skin cancers. PDE5 is a factor that makes sure the protein, BRAF, is able to cut out any damaged skin after too much UV light exposure. When this factor is blocked, BRAF is not able to work as effectively and patients are predisposed to having skin cancer as a result. [4]

In one investigation, nearly 4,000 patients suffering from skin cancer were identified to see if they were using Viagra substrates. In this cohort investigation, it was determined that patients were nearly 3 times more likely to develop melanomas than the general population. Luckily, there was no increased risk associated with squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas, the two more dangerous types of skin cancer. [5]

How to Prevent Melanoma if You Have Erectile Dysfunction 

A logical response to these findings would be to use some type of natural treatment for erectile dysfunction which would most definitely work on another mechanism of action compared to Viagra. This would allow patients to enjoy sunlight while finding relief from their sexual dysfunction but unfortunately, many vitamins and dietary supplements for ED are not as effective as Viagra so results will be disappointing. The next best option is to determine how to prevent melanoma if you have erectile dysfunction

Melanomas are becoming more common in modern society and populations at risk are those living in non-tropical climates. Tourists spending vacation time on tropical beaches are some of the more common patients that walk into our clinics and patients should be aware of ways to enjoy their time in the sun without the repercussions of skin cancer. Three of the most effective interventions that those using Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction could implement in their daily lives include using sunscreen lotions with at least an SPF (Sun-proof Factor) of 15, wearing a wide-brimmed hat that can cover your eyes and face and the use of sunglasses when you are venturing outside [6]. 

Melanomas are most likely to develop on the sensitive skin and the skin on our faces is some of the thinnest on our body. For physiological purposes, this is important because when we are too hot, blood capillaries on the face can easily dilate to release excessive heat to "cool" ourselves down. Because of this thin barrier, however, the skin is not able to protect against the damages of UV light as easily and this is where patients are most likely to get skin cancers as a result. Skin pigmentation is another well-known risk factor and the lighter your skin, the more likely you are to develop melanomas. Recent data shows that the incidence rate of melanomas in Caucasians is nearly 7 percent per year [7]. 

Not only are these lifestyle modifications essential, but another one that is becoming more popular as cultures shift the definitions of "beauty" to have tanner skin is the frequent use of tanning salons. These centers are medical nightmares because even if patients have more "radiant" completions, their predisposition to melanomas can increase by nearly 10 times [8]. These salons do not filter out damaging UVA and UVB light waves that can cause these cancers so it only a matter of time for patients to begin presenting due to malignant melanomas. All patients, especially those taking Viagra, should avoid tanning beds at all times. 

In retrospect, Viagra is a great substance for patients to use as long as they understand the consequences of their actions. In previous articles, we have already covered some of the risks of combining Viagra with alcohol, marijuana or nitrates and have seen that these are potentially deadly combinations for patients. The same holds true for patients using Viagra and live in Sun-rich ecosystems. Melanomas can metastasize to the brain if left unchecked and can kill patients so you need to be careful and actively protect yourself any time you venture outdoors while using this medication. 

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