Health

HEALTH NOTES: Zinc sunscreen could do more harm than good

HEALTH NOTES: Zinc sunscreen could do more harm than good


Sunscreen lotions containing zinc oxide – such as the thick sunblock worn by some athletes to protect their faces – may quickly lose effectiveness and even become harmful, a study suggests.

While they are touted as natural sunscreens ideal for sensitive skin, researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Leeds found that after exposing zinc oxide sunscreen to UV radiation for just two hours, it lost 80 per cent of its protectiveness.

They also tested it on zebrafish, which share a similarity to humans at molecular, genetic and cellular levels, and found it damaged their scales. 

Experts put this down to a chemical produced under UV, adding: ‘Labels on mineral-based sunscreens that imply they are safer are misleading.’

Sunscreen lotions containing Zinc oxide – often used by sports people – could be potentially dangerous and can lose 80 per cent of their protection in just two hours 

One in three doctors do not believe their NHS department is ready to cope with a winter surge in illness, according to a survey for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

It also found many medics were exhausted and felt demoralised. More than 800 were polled for the study, with 33 per cent saying they felt pessimistic.

Some projections show flu deaths could reach 60,000 this winter, more than double those in a normal year – in addition to continuing problems posed by Covid and other respiratory viruses.

One in three doctors do not believe their NHS department is ready to cope with a winter surge in illness, according to a survey for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), picture posed by model

One in three doctors do not believe their NHS department is ready to cope with a winter surge in illness, according to a survey for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), picture posed by model

Among comments from those polled, one doctor said ¿morale in the workforce is at an all-time low¿ while another claimed they couldn¿t ¿see an end to it¿

Among comments from those polled, one doctor said ‘morale in the workforce is at an all-time low’ while another claimed they couldn’t ‘see an end to it’

Among comments from those polled, one doctor said ‘morale in the workforce is at an all-time low’ while another claimed they couldn’t ‘see an end to it’.

Andrew Goddard, president of the RCP, said: ‘There are no two ways about it, it’s an incredibly difficult time to be working in medicine. Some things, such as embracing flexible working, will help to improve morale now, while increasing the size of the workforce will ensure that in future staff never feel as under pressure and undervalued as they do today.’

It’s well known that listening to up-tempo dance music can help energise us when we exercise, and that classical sonatas help calm the nerves. But singing lullabies to premature babies in critical care units might help reduce their pain and anxiety.

Music therapists played lullabies to newborns on ventilators in a paediatric ward and encouraged parents to join in. The babies’ heart rate, breathing and blood pressure were measured beforehand and at 15-minute intervals for an hour afterwards by researchers from West Virginia University School of Medicine.

On average, there was a significant reduction in heart rate. It was still lower an hour after the music stopped. The sound of parents singing along produced the strongest result.

 Regular exercise could help the 28 million British adults living with chronic pain, which is notoriously difficult to treat.

An analysis of 27 studies, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, showed adopting a regular aerobic exercise habit such as swimming, walking, jogging or cycling reduced pain and led to ‘significant improvements’ in mobility and mental health.

Exercise is thought to release natural pain-killing compounds, while weight loss reduces chemicals that cause inflammation, which often drives long-term pain.

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