Did you know melanoma diagnoses reach up to 82 per cent above the national average in parts of Queensland? With numbers like these, it is important to take skin cancer seriously and debunk some common myths about skin cancer and sunscreen so we can be better informed about our skin health and cancer risk.
MYTH #1: Melanoma only grows in existing moles.
FALSE. Skin cancer more often develops “de novo” or in newly appearing lesions on the body.
MYTH #2: Melanoma is the only deadly skin cancer.
FALSE. Squamous cell carcinoma (which is far more common than melanoma) and other forms of skin cancer can be fatal as well.
MYTH #3: Darker skin doesn’t require sunscreen.
FALSE. Everyone needs to wear sunscreen whenever UV levels are 3 or above because skin cancer grows on all skin types.
MYTH #4: Only sun-exposed areas of the body are at risk of skin cancer.
FALSE. Skin cancer can grow anywhere on the body, including under your fingernails, on the soles of your feet, inside your mouth and genitals, and anywhere else on your skin.
MYTH #5: Sunscreen causes cancer.
FALSE. Sunscreen helps to protect your skin cells from becoming damaged and cancerous during exposure to UV radiation.
MYTH #6: Sunscreen isn’t required when wearing makeup.
FALSE. Sunscreen is always required on areas of the body not covered by clothing whenever UV levels reach 3 or above. Makeup does not provide adequate sun protection, even if it is rated with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF). You need to wear sunscreen underneath your makeup every day.
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