Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Why men get skin cancer more often than women

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Attention women! When you smooth on your SPF 15 moisturizer in the morning, you might just want to dab a little on your man; a recent study found that men's skin is more sensitive to the sun's rays than women's.

The fact that men develop skin cancer more frequently than women has been a well known fact in the medical community for a while. What experts aren't sure about is why men are more prone to the disease. Are they out in the sun more? Are they less likely to apply sunscreen? Or is their skin just different? During this particular study, male mice who were exposed to ultraviolet light were more likely to get skin cancer sooner, have more tumors, and more severe tumors than female mice. This seems to solidify the theory that men just have skin that is more sensitive to sun damage than women. When researchers investigated further they were surprised to find that the male mice skin had fewer antioxidants in the cells than the female mice skin.

Dermatologists agree that male skin differs from female skin, but that this study doesn't tell the whole story. Men do get more exposure to ultraviolet light, says Marianne Berwick, PhD. Further studies should explain what exactly is happening and how men (and hopefully women, too!) can protect themselves from the disease.

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