Skin cancer myths debunked

Do you believe these common myths and misconceptions about skin cancer? In this short video, Dr Kerry Summerscales debunks myths she often hears about skin cancer, skin checks and sunscreen.

Watch the full video now:


Watch another video: Skin repair treatments for sun damage.

Some of the skin cancer myths include:

  • Melanoma only grows in existing moles (FALSE). Skin cancer more often develops "de novo" or in newly-appearing lesions on the body.
  • 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.
  • Darker skin doesn't require sunscreen (FALSE). Everyone needs to wear sunscreen whenever UV levels are 3 or above (which is all year-round in the northern regions of Australia) because skin cancer grows on all skin types.
  • 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, regardless of sun exposure.
  • Sunscreen causes cancer (FALSE). Sunscreen helps to protect your skin cells from becoming damaged and cancerous during exposure to UV radiation.
  • 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.