Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It seems to me that there is a simple choice. We can choose more than one option.

  • Get sunburn and a risk of skin cancer. (As I understand it, skin cancer is not causally dependent on sunburn, but they both depend on UV - sunburn via dehydration of skin cells near the surface and UV via mutation of the DNA in skin cells. Of course, it's possible that slightly dehydrated cells are more susceptible to mutation because their protective thingys aren't working as well - I'm not a biologist.)
  • Rub in some concoction of all sorts of chemicals which almost certainly haven't been tested for long term effects of repeated exposure to human skin.
  • Wear long sleeves and a decent hat.

Now, to me, the choice looks simple. But that might explain why I now have a sunburnt right ankle.


Anonymous said...

I understand that palm oil (booo-hiss, a chopping down rain forest crop iThink) is in nearly all skin care and make-up products, which for me would be a reason to not buy them.
And the sheer cost of it all, a tenner+ for a pot of spf25 that will last longer than a day (and not turn you into a ball of grease) if applied following the "liberal application" guidelines.

Anonymous said...

You could always just stay indoors.

Anonymous said...

or wear socks

Ginger said...

I find it hard to believe that cancer prevention advice would support the use of sunscreen if there was a significant risk of it contributing to cancer.

It's a combination of measures that's best (including covering up and staying out of the sun). You should be aware that not all clothing is equally good as a means of protection

Ginger said...

The weblink got truncated. Try here:

John said...

I am very confident that wearing sunscreen is better than sunburn, and that the short and medium term risk of cancer is much higher with large UV exposure than with sunscreen.

Personally, I quite like my new hat, which is quite big and had a label on it saying it was factor 40+ for UV protection.

bcg said...

As far as I'm aware, suncream hasn't - it's not necessarily the chemicals, it's the nanoparticles and the fact that the chemicals get heated that creates the problem I think.

But then, I'm neither a biologist nor a physicist.