QIMR Logo Sunscreen usage many often be advised to protect skin from sun damage especially during the summer season. It is known that sun exposure heightens risk of melanoma. Investigators from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) suggest that regular application of sunscreen can help avoid melanoma in adults.

A randomized trial was undertaken from 1992 to 1996 on 1,621 randomly selected individuals to analyze whether sunscreen prevents melanoma. While half the subjects applied sunscreen every day, the other half continued to apply sunscreen as they would normally. On completion of 15 years, the number of people diagnosed with melanomas from the discretionary sunscreen group was apparently double of the group who had applied daily sunscreen in the trial.

Professor Adèle Green, lead researcher and Head of QIMR’s Cancer and Population Studies Laboratory and colleagues claim that populations in Europe and North America as well as those traveling to sunny countries can use sunscreen on a daily basis. Employment of sunscreen can block damage due to sun exposure as well as melanoma risk. Various awareness campaigns on sun exposure can also highlight the probable benefits of using sunscreen every day.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on 8 December.