Thursday 20 January 2011

Goodbye Sunburn, Hello Rickets

It looks like an old scourge is making a comeback. Hello again, rickets.

The doctor interviewed here states that 20% of kids he sees have 'clinical rickets' due to a lack of exposure to sunshine, a quite startling figure if true. The parent in the film was using factor 50 sunscreen to 'protect' her daughter, but why choose a product so ridiculously over-protective?

Now, it's only a guess here, but I don't think scaremongering like this helps much.

Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds.

Don't let sunburn catch you out. Whether you're at home or abroad, use shade, clothing and at least SPF15 sunscreen to protect yourself and be SunSmart.
Did someone say cancer? Aaaargh! Quick, run down to Boots and buy the strongest stuff they have, if that there sun comes near my kids I swear I'll do time.

Of course, if you delve further into the CRUK site, you'll find a little bit about the need for kids to be exposed to sunshine for their own good ... but only a little bit.

But the amount of time in the sun that you need to make enough vitamin D is typically short and less than the amount that makes skin redden or burn. It should be enough to regularly go outside for a matter of minutes around the middle of the day without sunscreen.
That's all, just "a matter of minutes", then slap the cream on with a trowel, for Chrissakes!

Which is totally different from the advice given by the Beeb's chosen expert on the subject, Dr Rosemary. She talks of "20 to 30 minutes without sun cream" being necessary, and that "generally, factor 15 is enough". Really Rosemary, not at least factor 15?

Isn't this confusing? Hell, if you're a parent, may as well stay on the safe side, eh? Factor 50 it is then.

I was going to make another point about this, but my mind's gone blank, so please help me out. Which huge multi-national industry who produce lucrative sunscreen is CRUK heavily involved with again?

Look, come on people, it's high time this risk-terrified nonsense was stopped. Parents are being manipulated one way and another by haughty vested interest 'experts', foisting faux science and rent-led terror on a population who believe far too much of what they read or see.

One of the suggested ways of getting vitamin D is by walking to school but, naturally, the scares have already been well-placed to prevent that in most cases. What a choice that is! Rickets, or gang rape from the hordes of paedophiles hanging around outside schools.

It'll just have to be rickets, really, at least it's better than cancer.

So welcome back, rickets, long time no see. Pull up a chair and tell us what you've been up to in the past hundred years or two.


Curmudgeon said...

Is this condition not also over-represented in certain, ahem, ethnic minority communities - another Fact That Dare Not Speak Its Name?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure its return will be seen as a companion condition to the TB that is reappearing in our cities.

I look forward to smallpox making a return too.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, every single piece of research in the last 20 years on the topic of sun-induced skin conditions has been directly or indirectly financed by the sun-cream industry.
It makes the anti-tobacco lobby seem positively impartial.

Anonymous said...


I rather suspect that the researchers are not the people who are at fault. I suspect that it is the marketing depts. It is easy for someone to change 'about' factor 15 to 'at least' factor 15 without the researchers being able to do a thing about it. If anyone protested, the marketing men would say that they are recommending factor 15, but not necessarily much above that'.

The critical thing here, as usual, that the medical profession is not doing its job properly.

timbone said...

A quote from the magazine 'Healthspan':
"More than 20 studies have shown that the incidence of vitamin D deficiency is increasing" and "Have you ever wondered why we get more colds in winter, when we are exposed to less sunlight"?

Dr Hilary Jones, every woman's bedside manner, said that an hour of sun on the body, without blocking it, was good for you.

I spend 6 minutes in a solarium every 10 days.

Anonymous said...

Skin cancer on the rise as sunblock usage inrease? Hmm. Look up the individual ingredients in baby-wipes. One chemical increases skin permeability, and the rest are carcinogens, damage fertility or are linked to altzheimers. Somebody thinks we plebs are too numerous.

JuliaM said...

"Is this condition not also over-represented in certain, ahem, ethnic minority communities - another Fact That Dare Not Speak Its Name?"

Yes, I was rather surprised that the Beeb chose a photogenic white girl to use as their example...

Anonymous said...

SunSmart, eh.

It's a personal thing, but the bit that bugs me most is that alongside all health-scare originators lives an expensive, paid for by you and I, "Raising Awareness", website.

Each one full of cherry-picked 'facts'.

Usually with a wanky name.

Drink Aware.
ACT on CO2.

Annoys the hell out me for some unknown reason.


Angry Exile said...

I admit I slap the stuff on when I go out but in summer here you can easily burn on a cloudy day. When it's really sunny you can actually feel it happening after a while. That said I don't bother for walking down to the shops, and I certainly don't bother with SPF 50 which I can't even remember seeing in the shops. It all seems to be 15 up to 30 here, with a few labelled '30+' - whatever that means. After that you stop fucking about and use zinc. 50? Seriously? If you don't need 50 here between the tropics and the ozone hole then you don't bloody need it on the Isle of Wight.

Neal Asher said...

The only real response to this, Dick, is to point and giggle. Though I have to wonder if the fact that skin adapts to increasing sunlight has been missed - wacking on more sunscreen makes is more vulnerable. Similar scenario to using too many cleaning products in the house and ending up with children who have built up no resistance to bugs.

Anonymous said...

Most of these cases are in people who spend hours in solariums every day for years and years ,it takes bloody years of over exposure to cause this condition .
It was all just bullshit from the start like all of it, these criminal health quango's just steal money ,then usually cause more harm than good.
Of course they are untouchable because parasites like this are now so entrenched in the system they could not get rid of them if they wanted to.
Alchohol concern .....
all the rest of the thieving bullshitters.

Dr Evil said...

D'you know that if you expose your skin to sunshine a bit, then a bit more the next day and so on you build up a natural resistance to UV light called melanin or a tan. These over protective mothers should make the children cover up after a while not use factor 50 and stay in the sun all day. FFS!!!

malpas said...

This all may be true in England but skin cancers are a dime adozen in Australia. Especially as you reach 60+ of years.
Not usually lethal but cancers all the same.
More importantly is that sunshine gives you wrinkles and all you youngsters seem to want to stay young forever.