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Sun cream not enough protection from harmful UV rays

With temperatures expected to increase in the coming days many of us will be reaching for the sun cream in order to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays. This alone might not be enough to protect our skin against the deadliest form of skin cancer according to research carried out by Cancer Research UK.

A recent study by the organisation indicated that although applying high factor sun cream to our skin can help to reduce DNA damage that is caused by the sun’s UV rays, it does not offer people complete protection from them.

As part of their study, scientists studied the effects on mice who were predisposed to melanoma took only around 30% longer to develop cancer when coated in SPF 50 sun cream than ones who were not covered by sun cream. The findings of the research showed that UV light directly damages DNA in the skin’s pigment cells, which increases the chance of developing skin cancer.

Professor Richard Marais of Cancer Research UK, who was the author of the recent study, said “These studies allow us to begin to understand how UV light causes melanoma. UV light targets the very genes protecting us from its own damaging effects, showing how dangerous this cancer-causing agent is. Very importantly, this study provides proof that sunscreen does not offer complete protection from the damaging effects of UV light.”

The scientists believe that in hot temperatures the general public should always use a combination of sun protection methods such as hats and shade alongside sun cream. Professor Marais added “This work highlights the importance of combining sunscreen with other strategies to protect our skin, including wearing hats and loose fitting clothing, and seeking shade when the sun is at its strongest.” 



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