Several common moisturizing creams can increase the formation of non-melanoma skin tumors when applied to UV-radiation treated mice, according to research published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Mouse skin is quite different from human skin, but the research could help to explain the incidence of some types of skin cancer in patients.
Allan Conney and colleagues used a hairless mouse model for sunlight-induced non-melanoma skin cancer in humans. They exposed the mice to UV radiation to mimic exposure to the sun and then, after stopping UV treatment, they applied four different brands of moisturizers to the animals. Mice treated with each of the four brands had an increased rate of tumor formation. There were also more tumors per animal than in UV-treated mice that were not moisturized.
The team honed in on several ingredients that they believed might enhance tumorigenesis in the skin. A new moisturizer prepared without these ingredients did not have the same effect of increasing the rate of skin cancer in the UV-exposed mice.
Though the research may initially appear alarming, the authors indicate that the significance of these findings has not been established in humans. Further research is required to determine this.
Allan Conney (Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA)
Carl Blesch (Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Journal of Investigative Dermatology press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza