Sunscreen shields gene that prevents skin cancer

The effectiveness of sunscreen in preventing skin cancers has been the subject of academic debate, but Queensland University of Technology researchers found that sunscreen provides 100% protection against basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant melanoma.

The world-first study, funded by Cancer Council Queensland, involved 57 people undergoing a series of skin biopsies to determine molecular changes to the skin before and after UV exposure, and with and without SPF30+ sunscreen.

Results revealed that sunscreen not only provided 100% protection against the damage that can lead to skin cancer but also shielded the p53 gene, which works to prevent cancer after sun damage.

Lead researcher Dr Elke Hacker said that Australia had strong sunscreen standards to protect against erythema.

"This research looks beyond the redness to determine whether UV exposure when using sunscreen causes molecular changes to the skin,