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April 1, 2008

Health Promotion Programs for Melanoma Prevention: Screw or Spring?

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(4):538-540. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.4.538

Every day in their clinical practice, dermatologists see the ravages of excessive sun exposure—prematurely aged skin with all its changes, solar keratoses, basal cell (BCC) and squamous cell (SCC) carcinomas and, of course, melanoma. It is tempting to respond as a professional by simplifying and “toughening up” the message to “get through” to an obdurate public.

We know of leading, well-intentioned dermatologists who advise all patients to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin all day every day of the year to achieve the required level of protection. But the world has always been complicated for those would who carry the “sunsmart” message (see “Additional Information” for more about SunSmart), and it is becoming still more complicated.