Mad dogs and Englishwomen

August 12, 2010

The traditional "Brits-abroad" approach to tanning, which tends to leave holidaymakers lobster-red, is a key risk factor for skin cancer. Researchers at the University of Leeds studied the genetic make-up of 1,500 people with varying numbers of moles known as nevi, as well as asking them how often they exposed their skin to the sun. They found that people with certain genes were more likely to have a lot of moles, as were those who had a history of getting sunburned. Julia Newton-Bishop, professor of dermatology at Leeds, said: "It is no coincidence that women tend to have most moles on their lower legs. That's because at the first sign of sun, the first thing many women do is brown that bit of their legs that is visible below the hemline as quickly as possible."

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