Does Drinking Beer On The Beach Cause Skin Cancer?

Don’t forget your sunscreen…Image credit: Kona Brewing

That’s what one study is suggesting…And even if that research proves true. Do you think anyone going to pay attention?

Here’s the deal…

It’s widely known that sun exposure is a leading cause of skin cancer. And now a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology is pointing to alcohol consumption as increasing the risk of skin cancer when you’re in the sun.

We’re bummed.

We just reported on a recent study which found that alcohol consumption can prolong your life…but who wants to live a long life in a world where you can’t have a beer on the beach?

Part of the explanation for the study’s findings is that when people drink they get buzzed and more relaxed about everything…

They spend too much time on the beach, in the sun. And they get more lackadaisical about things like remembering to apply sunscreen as needed…and they end up getting sunburned.

Sunbathe responsibly

But it may be more than that… Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism told NPR that “research suggests that alcohol reduces the amount of time you can spend in the sun before you get a burn.”

White explained that nne study in Germany measured how much UV light it took to burn skin after male participants who “consumed about three drinks and found that the amount of UV light it took to burn the skin was significantly less.”

And it is a significant finding, he added “because it tells us that alcohol increases the risk of getting a sunburn — not just because people don’t tend to put on sunscreen.”

The reason why the skin becomes more susceptible to sun damage after consuming is open to speculation but another study suggests that answer is that it may lower the carotenoid count in the body. Those pigments. which are derived from fruits and vegetables, may provide less antioxidant defense after  consuming alcohol, making the skin more vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays.

White explained that more research is needed to fully understand this relationship, but stressed that it’s an important one…

“The added risk of sunburn with alcohol is probably one of the contributing factors to the [higher] rates of skin cancer [among] people who drink [alcohol].”


Image credits: Kona Brewing

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