Sun protection: don't forget to apply eyelids
Most people are probably aware of the danger to our health from increased sun exposure. Especially in summer, it is extremely important to protect yourself from the sun in order to avoid skin cancer. Researchers have now found that if we do not adequately protect our eyelids, we are also at greater risk. Unfortunately, many people forget this area when applying sunscreen.
A recent study by the University of Liverpool found that protecting the eyelids from the sun is important to minimize the risk of skin cancer. However, many people do not take their eyelids into account when using sunscreen. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "PLOS One".
Skin areas on the face are often not adequately protected
Sensitive skin areas are often overlooked when using sunscreens. This behavior can increase the risk of cancer. Despite global initiatives to increase the use of sunscreens, skin cancer continues to increase. In the current study, the researchers found that moisturizers with an increased sun protection factor protect against the sun's rays, but the way in which they are used does not provide adequate protection for most people. The study examined how women applied moisturizers and sunscreens to 62 women and 22 men before looking at most of the face with a special camera sensitive to ultraviolet light. When people used sunscreen moisturizers, 17 percent of the face was not adequately protected compared to 11 percent when using pure sunscreens.
The eyelids are particularly vulnerable
Especially around the eyelids, which are very thin and particularly susceptible to cancer, 21 percent of the affected skin was not adequately protected when using moisturizing cream with a sun protection factor. With normal sunscreens it was 14 percent. This is particularly worrying, as skin cancer is most common on the head and neck and the eyelids have the highest incidence of the disease, the researchers report. For example, squamous cell carcinoma often affects the eyelids.
The area between the corners of the eyes and the nose must be protected
Participants filled out a questionnaire about their usage habits for sunscreens and moisturizers with SPF, although most people were unaware that they had not completely applied their faces. When using sunscreen and moisturizer, the area around the eyes is often overlooked, especially near the nose. The participants also covered a smaller area of the face when using moisturizers compared to sunscreens. This suggests that the eyelid should be given special attention when using creams with SPF, the authors of the study explain. 78 percent of the participants did not protect the area between the corners of the eyes and the nose, regardless of whether they applied sunscreen or moisturizer. Sunglasses with UV filters can help in such cases to protect areas that are not creamed. (as)