Common Moisturizing Skin Creams May Have Cancer Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Tumorigenic Effect of Some Commonly Used Moisturizing Creams when Applied Topically to UVB-Pretreated High-Risk Mice.

Irradiation of SKH-1 mice with UVB (30 mJ cm-2) twice a week for 20 weeks resulted in mice with a high risk of developing skin tumors over the next several months in the absence of further irradiation with UVB (high-risk mice).

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Topical applications of 100 mg of Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream (Eucerin), or Vanicream once a day, 5 days a week for 17 weeks to these high-risk mice increased significantly the rate of formation of tumors and the rate of increase in tumor size per mouse.

Additional studies indicated that treatment of high-risk mice with Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream for 17 weeks increased the total number of histologically characterized tumors by 69% (average of two experiments; P<0.0001 in each experiment), 95% (P<0.0001), 24% (P<0.01), and 58% (P<0.0001), respectively.

Topical applications of a specially designed Custom Blend cream to high-risk mice was not tumorigenic. The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice.

Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications of moisturizing creams on sunlight-induced skin cancer in humans.

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