Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Applying sunscreen poorly can increase cancer risk, study finds

Study finds up to 17 per cent of the face is typically missed

A UK study found thinner skin around the eyes is more vulnerable to sun burn, as those taking part failed in applying sun protection creams correctly. The National
A UK study found thinner skin around the eyes is more vulnerable to sun burn, as those taking part failed in applying sun protection creams correctly. The National

Applying sunscreen poorly could increase the risk of skin cancer, a study has revealed.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool found that failing to correctly apply sun protection creams to sensitive areas of the face, especially the eyelids, leaves thinner skin more exposed to the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays.

The university research team studied 84 people using sunscreen and a moisturiser with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30.

Researchers took pictures of the participants using an ultraviolet sensitive camera to see how effectively were they putting on the sun protection creams.

The study found that 17 per cent of the face was missed by those applying an SPF moisturiser, compared with 11 per cent using sunscreen.

There was 21 per cent lower coverage of the area around the eyelids with an SPF and 14 per cent with sunscreen, the research found.

Austin McCormick, study author and consultant ophthalmic at Aintree University Hospital Trust, said eyelid cancers made up 10 per cent of all UK basal cell carcinomas due to thinner skin in and around the eyes.

Experts advised sunscreen should be used, rather than SPF moisturiser on sensitive areas as it is generally cheaper, and more likely to be used liberally.

Sunglasses have also proved effective in protecting vulnerable eyelids, they said.

One in every three cancers diagnosed globally is skin cancer, the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells.

It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations or genetic defects, leading skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.

Dr Khashayar Ghiassi, specialist dermatologist at Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres, said skin cancer represents one of the most common male malignancies in the UAE.

“The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern,” he said.

Although a rarer form of skin cancer, melanoma is the more aggressive kind and can be diagnosed from the change in size or appearance of an existing mole or blemish.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year, with between 2 to 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers recorded.

Updated: April 7, 2019 12:32 PM

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