The link between sunscreen and melanoma

Some studies have suggested that sunscreen might actually increase the risk of melanoma -- the most dangerous form of skin cancer. But a recent review of 18 studies found no link between sunscreen use and melanoma risk. The University of Iowa researchers say that some of the earlier studies failed to take into account that the people at highest risk for melanoma -- those with fair skin, for example -- were also more likely to use sunscreen; as a result, it might appear that sunscreen users develop the disease more often.

The research also did not prove that sunscreen reduces melanoma risk. However, most of the people in the 18 studies used older products that were not waterproof, did not have an SPF greater than 15 and did not protect against ultraviolet-A radiation, which may be more dangerous than ultraviolet B.

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