Sunday, July 08, 2007

Combination of sunscreen, insect repellent can pose threat

With summer's sunshine and biting insects here, new Canadian research suggests applying sunscreen and insect repellent containing DEET at the same time may compromise the safety and effectiveness of each product.

Xiaochen Gu, a pharmacology professor at the University of Manitoba, warns that when the chemical ingredients are applied at the same time, the repellent permeates the skin in far greater amounts. The sunscreen also loses some of its protection ability.

The research poses a conundrum for Canadians who want to protect themselves from skin cancer and keep possible West Nile-carrying mosquitoes away.

Gu said people should wait at least half an hour after applying sunscreen before using bug repellent containing DEET. Health Canada maintains people can use sunscreen and insect repellents together, as long as the sunscreen is applied first and the insect repellent second. It does not give any advice about waiting in between applications ...more

No comments: