British Skin Foundation - Sun Awareness & Skin Cancer

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Postby Guest Posts on Mon May 08, 2017 9:45 am

Hello.....My 18 year old son has several moles on his back, with some of them being fairly large. Is there anything in particular that he should do when he's out in the sun to protect them besides using suncream? Should he use a certain strength cream? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Re: Moles

Postby Dr Ed Seaton on Thu May 11, 2017 12:52 pm

Dear Anne,

Thanks for your question. It is actually a mistake to think that just moles need protecting from the sun. As dermatologists we sometimes see patients who just seem to use suncream on their moles. This is a mistake, as skin cancer can develop on any part of the skin. People with more moles just seem to be more prone to skin cancer.

The key thing in a teenager is to avoid sunburn. We know that people who have sunburn early in life are more likely to get melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer. The best way to do this is to avoid direct exposure to the sun between 11 and 3 and if you are out in the sun at that time to use sun protection with a sun cream of at least factor 30 or above, applied ideally at least 20 minutes before going into the sun. Clothing actually provides even better protection. Covering up the shoulders with a T-shirt or the face with a hat at these times is definitely recommended. It is also important to try to avoid excessive tanning. Dermatologists generally suggest that people should try to come back from holiday with skin as close as possible to the colour that they were when they went.

I hope that is helpful!

Best wishes

Dr Edward Seaton
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Re: Moles

Postby Dr Nisith Sheth on Thu May 11, 2017 11:17 pm

Great advice from Dr Seaton! Even more information here. ... fact-sheet
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