August 19, 2008

Research Ties Skin Creams to Cancer

HACKENSACK, N.J. - Moisturizers may speed skin cancer in reformed sunbathers, even years after giving up on tanning, according to a Rutgers University study of mice.

Four different brands of moisturizing creams caused tumors to form faster and larger in hairless mice that had been pre-treated with ultraviolet radiation, the Rutgers researchers reported Thursday in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

"We don't know what happens in humans," said Alan Conney, who headed the study. "But this is a red light saying there should be some epidemiological study in human populations."

Manufacturers of the products - Eucerin Original Moisturizing Creme, Vanicream, Dermabase and Dermovan, all chosen randomly for the study - refuted the findings Thursday.

Conney said it is not known which ingredients act as the mechanism that could promote skin cancer. "There was no common ingredient" in the moisturizers that was suspect, he said. "It has to involve the combination of ingredients."

- McClatchy Newspapers

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