BRISBANE, Australia, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have found that sunscreen not only provides 100 percent protection against sunburn, but also protects a "superhero gene" that fights all three types of skin cancer, local media reported on Tuesday.
The researchers from Queensland University of Technology have carried out a study to examine the effectiveness of sunscreen in preventing skin cancers.
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 being sunburnt.
The study also shows sunscreen shields the so-called superhero p53 gene, which works to prevent all three forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
"As soon as our skin becomes sun damaged, the p53 gene goes to work repairing that damage and thereby preventing skin cancer occurring," lead researcher Elke Hacker said.
"But over time if skin is burnt regularly, the p53 gene mutates and can no longer do the job it was intended for - it no longer repairs sun damaged skin and without this protection skin cancers are far more likely to occur."
Hacker said the study could be used to develop post-sun exposure treatment, such as super sunscreens, to help repair sun damaged skin.