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Can sunscreen help prevent melanoma in adults?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
A study in Australia found that adults who use sunscreen faithfully have a 50% decrease in the development of melanoma, and a 73% decrease in the development of invasive melanoma.

Even though millions of Americans depend on sunscreen for skin protection, melanoma rates are rising. The consensus among scientists is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend. Yet a good sunscreen can play role in preventing sunburns that are a major risk factor for melanoma -- provided you use it correctly. That means applying the recommended amount, applying it frequently and not staying in the sun too long. Although sunscreen may protect you from getting a burn, it won't protect your skin from other, more serious forms of sun damage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.