Be­yond fair skin, light hair and a pro­cliv­ity for lob­ster-red sun­burns, new re­search is pin­point­ing less ob­vi­ous risks for de­vel­op­ing skin cancer. Check this list and be ex­tra-dili­gent with your SPF

Women's Health (South Africa) - - BEAUTY -


Sorry to be a buz­zkill, but ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in Cancer Epi­demi­ol­ogy, Biomark­ers & Preven­tion, each glass of white wine per day was as­so­ci­ated with a 13-per­cent in­creased risk of melanoma. The re­searchers hy­poth­e­sise that it’s due to the DNA-dam­ag­ing en­zyme ac­etalde­hyde, which is found in all al­co­holic bev­er­ages, but at higher lev­els in white wine. Easy so­lu­tion: opt for red in­stead, which re­searchers think has less

of an as­so­ci­a­tion with melanoma risk, thanks to its higher level of an­tiox­i­dants.


New re­search in Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions shows that just car­ry­ing the gene that gives you red hair – mean­ing the colour runs in your fam­ily, but you are not red-haired your­self – leads to 42-per­cent more sun-as­so­ci­ated ge­netic mu­ta­tions com­pared with peo­ple who did not carry

the gene. “It also raises the pos­si­bil­ity that we can screen peo­ple for this gene so they can be more aware,” says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Ellen Mar­mur.


A study pub­lished in the Bri­tish Med­i­cal Jour­nal un­cov­ered a con­nec­tion be­tween strains of HPV and the preva­lence of squa­mous cell car­ci­no­mas, a non-melanoma type of skin cancer. The more strains of HPV a per­son car­ried, the more likely they were to de­velop squa­mous

cell can­cers in their life­time. If you’re not sure if you have HPV, get tested.


Con­sum­ing a cup serv­ing of grape­fruit or or­ange juice more than 1.6 times daily was found to up melanoma risk by 36 per­cent. Re­searchers, who pub­lished their find­ings in the Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy, spec­u­late it’s be­cause these fruits are rich in pso­ralen and furo­coumarin com­pounds, which are thought to make skin more pho­to­sen­si­tive.

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