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Do sunscreens have a role in preventing skin cancer?
  • Relevant BNF section: BNF 13.8.1


Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is largely responsible for the harmful effects of sun exposure, notably sunburn, photosensitivity and skin cancer. UV radiation is, for example, implicated in malignant melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer), the incidence of which has risen in the UK over the last 30 years.1 Such risks make it crucial to know whether measures aimed at reducing sun damage offer worthwhile benefit. Here we assess whether the sunscreen products commonly used to prevent sunburn have a place in the prevention of skin cancer.

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  • Relevant BNF section: BNF 13.8.1

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