The expected increase in alcohol consumption over the festive period could lead to an increased risk of developing melanoma, a leading Australian dermatologist has warned.
Research from Germany has shown that drinking in the sun can accelerate skin burn, which means that alcohol drinkers in general may be more susceptible to developing skin cancer.
According to the study, participants consumed three alcoholic beverages before being exposed to UV light, with the test showing their skin burned faster than those who did not drink alcohol.
According to Molemap dermatologist Dr. Niyati Sharma, the accelerated sunburn was likely due to lower levels of carotenoids – or pigments that naturally exhibit red, orange and yellow colors – that participants had after consuming the drug. alcohol.
Although she said alcohol consumption also had a negative impact on the amount of sunscreen used, Dr Sharma said the study showed there was more to it.
“The results of this study are concerning because they tell us that alcohol can increase the likelihood of sunburn,” she said.
“It shows a direct correlation between alcohol ingestion making our skin more vulnerable to the effects of the sun.”
Dr Sharma said having tattoos could also be an additional risk factor, as it is more difficult for those with “sleeve” tattoos as well as for their family and their friends to immediately identify an area of concern.
“The start of summer is a welcome reminder to us all of the dangers of melanoma and the need to be vigilant with sun protection and monitoring all areas of concern.
“Skin checks are essential in the early detection of melanoma or other types of skin cancer.”
Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing showed around 16,900 people developed melanoma this year alone, accounting for around 11.2% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 2021.
It has resulted in the deaths of 843 men and 472 women over the past 12 months.
Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world and is the most common cancer among 20-39 year olds.