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Radioactive beta cream

Treat acne and other problems!
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Radiation was a commonly used treatment for acne and other skin disorders in the 1920s. It was very effective - unfortunately treatments used gamma rays and xrays which had much more penetrating power than was necessary for skin treatment. Many people treated in childhood later developed thyroid cancer.

Radiation is still used for acne, but in the form of UV treatment. This is somewhat cumbersome, requiring multiple treatments to work.

I propose that a cream be made which incorporates a small amount of a radioactive beta particle emitter. This would deliver a good wallop of radiation to the superficial skin. Beta particles do not penetrate far, so the risk of cancers should be much diminished. Best of all, one treatment with beta cream should provide enough radiation to markedly improve most acne.

Another use for the radioactive beta cream would be for treatment of stubborn skin infections. Radiation was also used for ringworm, and this cream should be equally good. In addition, as antibiotic resistance becomes more prevalent, use of the beta cream should help control infections which are resistant to available antibiotics.

Finally, radioactive beta cream should also be an excellent dipilatory, obviating the need for painful waxes and epiladies.

bungston, Jul 17 2003

Radiation and acne http://www.geocitie.../learnfrompast.html
[bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Epilady http://www.epilady.com/page_2a.html
[bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Radioactive patch http://www.ncbi.nlm...t&list_uids=9170430
Similar idea. Hopefully I pasted the link right this time, [jurist]! [bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Microorganisms like to eat cave paintings http://www.time.com...9171,901479,00.html
[bungston, Aug 28 2006]

Radioactive paste http://www.ncbi.nlm...nel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Glad the Norwegians are reading the Halfbakery. [bungston, Jan 25 2008]

[link]






       So this is basically just Skin-Cancer-In-A-Can?
DeathNinja, Jul 17 2003
  

       What SPF does it have?
snarfyguy, Jul 17 2003
  

       The SPF would be about -120.
bungston, Jul 17 2003
  

       Well, it can't have worse potential side effects than Accutane. My big question is, could it come in different colors so you could have it painted on in cute little designs like at the fair? You could have Radioactive Man painted on and he would really be radioactive.
kevindimie, Jul 17 2003
  

       Are you sure it would have the same beneficial effects? different kinds of radiation don't differ only in penetration ability.
5th Earth, Jul 24 2004
  

       A use I just thought of for this beta-particle emitting cream would be to preserve cave paintings. This would actually be a much better application than using it to treat health problems. One could use a long lasting isotope which emitted alpha or beta particles. People are (or should be) infrequent visitors to these caves, so health risk would be minimized. Likewise, the radiation will stay in the caves, because if there were a lot of water moving through them, there would not be paintings anymore. By making the cave walls too radioactive for microbes, their impact on the paintings would be diminished.
bungston, Aug 28 2006
  

       It depends on the energy of the particles (and thencetheretofore on the isotope), but most beta radiation will penetrate far deeper than you'd really want. UV attenuates very quickly, confining most of the damage to (a) the dead surface cells and (b) cells which will be on the surface and sloughed before they can really turn nasty. Beta radiation would deliver most of its energy to deeper skin (or below) where the cells don't turn over.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2008
  

       Add to that the problem of systemic absorbtion of the isotope (since you specify a cream as the carrier medium), ending up in the bloodstream, and hence to most organs of the body, right up to the point when said body dies horribly from radiation sickness. Plus anyone you've shaken hands with recently.   

       In the 1920's and 30's, various radiation-based medicines were marketed commercially, including "Radium Water". These proved remarkably popular with some market segments, later described as "dead".   

       This is a very bad idea, but if you wish to try it on yourself as a guinea pig (which are quite bright, comparatively) we will be delighted to furnish the necessary materials. Alternatively, you may prefer to swallow a few grams of sodium cyanide before lying down in the path of an oncoming express train, with a polythene bag over your head. Either will do.
8th of 7, Jan 25 2008
  

       // Either will do.// No it won't. Either is an anaesthetic, and although it will alleviate pain and induce unconsciousness, it is not reliably fatal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2008
  

       It is if you're hit by a tanker train full of it. That's fairly reliable (within the limits of experimental error). To clearly establish the error bounds, would you mind just lying down on these tracks, here, and keeping still until told to move ?
8th of 7, Jan 25 2008
  

       Sp.: Mississippi
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 25 2008
  
      
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