Could Alcohol Be Linked to Skin Cancer?

Plenty of people enjoy taking in the sun along with a drink or two on the beach, but could this combination put you at an increased risk for skin cancer? A new work published in the British Journal of Dermatology looked at 16 studies, involving thousands of participants altogether, and examined the rates of skin cancer among those who did and did not consume alcohol. The findings indicate that “consuming an alcoholic drink or more a day increases skin cancer risk by a fifth.”


This may be because the ethanol in alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde after it’s ingested. Acetaldehyde may make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, which can put you at an increased risk for skin cancer. Still, the work does not draw a conclusive link between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of skin cancer. The reasons may be that those who consume alcohol forgo sunscreen or protective clothing when they’re exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.


Whether you’re drinking or not, you should take care to protect yourself from UV rays when exposing your skin to the sun. Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoid extended exposure during the peak hours of 10am-2pm, when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.



alcohol skin cancer



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