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Experts warned that a failure to apply sun cream - together with warnings on sunscreen bottles to avoid the eye area - were putting people at risk.

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iSIGHT Clinic

Mr Austin McCormick, Consultant Ocular Plastic Surgeon at iSIGHT Clinic took part in a new study that was presented at the British Association of Dermatologists' annual conference in Liverpool. The study found that people failed to put sun cream on a tenth of their face, on average. This is despite the face being a very common site for skin cancer. 

The results of this study was shown on BBC’s Health: Truth or Dare TV show, were experts warned people to wear sunglasses to help protect against skin cancer after research found sunbathers generally forget to apply sun cream to key areas of their face.

More than 90 per cent of basal cell carcinomas - the most common cancer in the UK - occur on the head or neck, and between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of all skin cancers appear on the eyelids.

In the study, experts from the University of Liverpool asked participants to apply sun cream to their face but were given no further instructions.

A UV-sensitive camera was used to take before and after photos of where the sun cream had been applied.

On average, people missed 9.5 per cent of the whole face - most commonly the eyelids (13.5 per cent) and the area between the inner corner of the eye and the bridge of the nose (77 per cent).

Even when participants were told about skin cancers of the eyelids, there was only a slight improvement in application, with 7.7 per cent per cent of the face left unprotected.

Mr McCormick stated “It's worrying that people find it so hard to sufficiently apply sunscreen to their face, an area which is particularly at risk of skin cancer due to the amount of sun exposure it receives. “The most important thing to take away from this research is the importance of wearing sunglasses.”


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