The Sunscreen Paradox

What IS the sunscreen paradox???

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

The sun screen paradox is a phenomenon where a population has high rates of skin cancer despite high awareness. There’s a high incidence of this in Canada. But how does it happen?

Sauliha Alli from the University of Toronto and a team wanted to understand the differences in rates of skin cancer.

Through twenty-three focus groups, researchers found evidence of the ‘sunscreen paradox’ in particular provinces. They used surveys about how much sun participants got, and when and why.

There were many factors for increased exposure to the sun. This included geographic latitude, occupation, and even ‘feelings of guilt’ for missing out on good weather.

So how do we tackle the sunscreen paradox? Researchers suggest adding other tools in our fight against UV rays! Like sun-protective clothing and using shade to prevent sunburns.

So stay S-P-F savvy and cover up. You know what they say: sun’s out, NONE’S out!

Reference: Alli, S., LeBeau, J., Hasbani, A., et al. (2023). Understanding the perceived relationship between sun exposure and Melanoma in Atlantic Canada: A consensual qualitative study highlighting a “Sunscreen Paradox.” Cancers, 15(19), 4726.