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Friday, January 31, 2014

Risk: Drinking Alcohol Increases the Chance of Skin Cancer

Beach shoes
The countless people who look forward to having fun in the sun drinking alcohol may be putting themselves at a greater risk of skin cancer. New research has found a link between alcohol consumption and skin cancer, BBC News reports. The data from thousands of patients in 16 different studies was examined by researchers.

The human body converts ethanol, the active ingredient in alcohol products, into a compound called acetaldehyde, potentially making skin more sensitive to ultraviolet rays. When people drink alcohol, they tend to spend a longer period of time in the sun than average, often times without the aid of sunblock, according to researchers.

People who have at least one alcoholic beverage daily results in an increased risk of skin cancer by one-fifth - there was a greater risk associated with drinking more alcohol. Having just a few strong beers could make one 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

In a news release, Professor Chris Bunker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, said, “We would always urge people to be careful in the sun and try to enjoy it responsibly. It is not uncommon to have a few drinks whilst on holiday or at a barbeque, we would just encourage people to be careful and make sure they are protecting their skin, this research provides an extra incentive to do so. Many of us have seen holiday makers who have been caught unawares the day before, fuzzy-headed and lobster red – an unwelcome combination.”

The study appears in the British Journal of Dermatology.
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