Sunscreen does not protect against skin cancer

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Sunscreen does not provide lasting protection against skin cancer.

(06/30/2010) Most people believe that generous application of sunscreen also protects against skin cancer. But this widespread assumption is wrong. Because sunscreen can protect against sunburn, it cannot minimize the risk of developing cancer.

Summer, sun and sunbathing: Many people believe that sunscreen also provides lasting protection against skin cancer. But that's not true. The German Cancer Aid pointed out this connection. Many people want to prolong sunbathing by applying sun milk and thereby endanger their health. Instead of applying sunscreen and celebrating extensive sunbathing, you should rather spend a lot of time in the shade, as the German Cancer Aid advises. Because avoiding the blazing sun is still the best protection against sunburn and skin cancer. Because gene damage caused by UV rays begins much earlier than sunburn. Prof. Eckhard Breitbar from Krebshilfe e.V. reports: "The gene damage in the skin caused by UV rays occurs long before sunburn begins." For this reason, sunscreens should not be used to stay in the sun longer. Instead, you should stay in the shade and avoid the blazing sun.

The longer and more intensely you are exposed to the sun, the greater the risk of developing skin cancer. It is therefore particularly important to use sensible sun protection. A sensible sun protection is light, air-permeable clothing, which, however, consists of sun-proof fabric. It is important to have adequate headgear, UV-opaque sunglasses to protect the eyes and shoes that cover the back of the feet. In areas that are not covered by clothing, Krebshilfe recommends sunscreen with a high protection factor., on the other hand, recommends sun milk from natural cosmetics, since conventional sun creams often contain fragrances that can trigger allergies. In addition, sun milk contains nanoparticles, the effects of which on the body have so far not been sufficiently researched.

Young people who have been in the sun for far too long have an 80 percent UV radiation dose of their entire lives at the age of 18. Therefore, according to the German Cancer Aid, adequate sun protection is especially important for children and adolescents, because young people spend a lot more time outdoors. For example, children should only play in the shade on the beach and not spend the hot midday sun outdoors. Every year 3000 people in Germany die of skin cancer. The rate of new cases is 140,000 people a year. (sb)

Also read:
Every third person gets sick on vacation
First aid for sunburn
Nanoparticles in sun milk
Cancer therapy: breast milk as a cancer killer

Image: Manfred Walker /

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Video: Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection - Mayo Clinic


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