Costa Del Crispy

I’ve been hitting Europe’s hot spots in a quest to discover exactly how the Brits on holiday are adapting to public health recommendations regarding protecting their skin from the sun to reduce their risk of skin cancer. The answer? There isn’t much adapting going on……I travelled to the chi-chi resort of Puerto Banus with reporter Claire Coleman for the Daily Mail and what we found was a wee bit alarming. Northern Irish teens sunbaking with cooking oil and lemon juice and toddlers out in the sun in the midday heat because they were wearing the new once-daily sunscreens….

‘….Dr Bunting has serious reservations about once a day sunscreens.

‘There are two main types of skin cancer. The most serious is melanoma, or mole cancer. Less serious and more common, non-melanoma cancers.

‘We know that sunburn, which is caused by the UVB rays of the sun, increases your risk for both types of cancer, and as a result, suncream has, historically concentrated on protecting against UVB rays.

‘However, more recent research suggests that a different type of radiation, UVA could be a ticking timebomb. Unlike UVB, you can’t actually see the damage it causes immediately, but it’s believed to play a significant role in melanoma. Studies show that exposure to UVA-emitting sunbeds is related to an increase in melanoma risk so unwitting exposure to UVA radiation now could lead to serious problems later.’

The SPF figure on a sunscreen relates only to UVB, and while P20 and other similar products do claim to offer some UVA protection, her concern is that they simply don’t provide enough.

‘In a way it’s almost worse because it lulls people into a false sense of security. At least if you’re burning, you’re forced to cover up, or stay out of the sun.’

Daily Mail, 2nd August 2010

Full Article

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