Improper sunscreen use has cancer risk: experts
The improper and irresponsible use of sunscreen may cause the skin to burn and age and could even lead to skin cancer, stated the China Medical University Hospital ( ) yesterday.
Director of the Cosmetic Surgery Center at the China Medical University Hospital Chiu Ping-qi ( ) asserted that the most common problem with people using sunscreen is that it gives users a false sense of security, which leads to irresponsible behavior under the sun.
Chiu reminded the public that sunscreen is only an aid to defend against the sun’s harsh rays — many people forget that other precautions may also be necessary, such as using an umbrella, covering the skin and staying indoors.
On a normal sunny day, Chiu says that people should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before they leave the house as it takes a while for the product to settle evenly and effectively on the skin.
Due to the hot and humid cli- mate in Taiwan, people often perspire and sweat off the sunscreen they apply, lessening its ability to protect the skin. Chiu outlines the necessity of reapplying sunscreen through out the day, suggesting that the average person touch up his or her sunscreen every half hour. However, if hiking, swimming or doing sports under the sun, one must fully reapply sunscreen every hour or so, Chiu stated.
Many people use different kinds of sun protection products to protect their skin but Chiu asserts that BB creams or foundations with SPF cannot serve as sunscreen substitutes, as the creams only add extra coverage. Cosmetic products that offer sun protection, Chiu says, often have erroneously labeled SPF numbers because the aesthetic emphasis of the product affects its ability to defend against UV rays.
Chiu also acknowledged the new trend of multi-purpose highpressure sunscreen sprays but reminded the public that although convenient, spray bottle sunscreen may not be as effective or safe.