Im­proper sun­screen use has can­cer risk: ex­perts

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY MICHELLE YEH

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.

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