“Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sunscreen Use During Childhood Reduces Melanoma Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Caroline Watts  PhD

Post-doctoral Researcher
The University of Sydney.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: The study analysed data collected from nearly 1700 young Australians who participated in the Australian Melanoma Family Study, a population-based case-control-family study that focused on people who had a melanoma under 40 years of age and compared them with people the same age who did not have a melanoma.

We examined sunscreen use during childhood and adulthood and its association with melanoma risk and found that compared to people who did not use sunscreen, regular sunscreen use during childhood reduced melanoma risk by 30-40 per cent. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Sunscreen is an effective form of sun protection and regular use reduces the risk of developing melanoma. Sunscreen should be used regularly from childhood whenever the UV Index is 3 or above, to reduce risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research should look at how to increase sunscreen use in hard to reach groups, including men, and people who were older or less well educated.


Watts CG, Drummond M, Goumas C, et al. Sunscreen Use and Melanoma Risk Among Young Australian Adults. JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 18, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1774

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Last Updated on July 19, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD