Sydney, Oct 8 (IANS): Sunscreen not only provides 100 percent protection against sunburn, but also protects a "superhero gene" which fights all three types of skin cancer, Australian researchers have found.
The researchers from Queensland University of Technology carried out a study to examine the effectiveness of sunscreen in preventing skin cancers, reports Xinhua.
After conducting a series of skin biopsies on 57 people before and after UV exposure, with and without sunscreen, they found that sunscreen efficiently protects the skin from sunburn.
The study released Tuesday also shows that sunscreen shields the superhero p53 gene, which protects skin from all three forms of skin cancer -- basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
"As soon as our skin gets damaged from UV rays, the p53 gene starts repairing the damaged cells and thereby prevents skin cancer," lead researcher Elke Hacker said.
"But if the skin is burnt regularly, the p53 gene mutates and can no longer do the same job - it no longer repairs damaged skin and in the lack of such protection skin cancers are likely to occur," he said.
The study could be used to develop post-sun exposure treatment, such as super sunscreens to repair sun damaged skin.