Monday, September 08, 2008

Moisturizers Spur Skin Cancers In Mice

By Dr. Stuart Kaplan

A new study published August 14, 2008 revealed that Mineral Oil and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, found in many common skin moisturizers, caused mice that were exposed to UV radiation to develop more, and larger skin cancer tumors.

This study is the work of Dr Allan Conney and researchers of Rutger University's Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research. They exposed specially bred albino mice to UV radiation twice a week for 20 weeks to examine the development of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas, or non-melanoma skin cancers. Then a portion of the mice were treated with over-the-counter moisturizers, such as Eucerin, Dermabase, Dermovan and Vanicream.

What they found was that mice treated with the moisturizers had increased tumors, and larger tumors, which developed at a faster rate than mice that were not treated with moisturizers. After further research, they concluded that Mineral Oil and Sodium Lauryl Suphate may have caused the increase in skin cancer tumors.

However, these studies were performed on mice only. Drugs that have caused a certain reaction in animals do not always have similar effects in humans. Further, more research must be done to verify these results and its effect on human skin.

To help prevent skin cancer in the first place, always remember to practice good sun protection, like wearing a wide-brim hat and long sleeves, and using sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors, and look for products containing physical sunscreens, such as Titanium Dioxide.

Note: No kaplanMD Skincare Product or kaplanMD LIP 20 lip treatment contains either mineral oil or sodium lauryl sulphate.

Dr. Stuart Kaplan has been in private practice in Beverly Hills for over 22 years, and also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Medical Center for over 20 years.