Save your skin with just SPF 30

New study shows you may need only SPF 30 to reduce your risk of deadly melanoma.

That sunscreen you slather on may be doing more than you think when it comes to protecting against sunburn, aging and skin cancer.

A new study has found that sunscreen as low as sun protection factor (SPF) 30 may help reduce the risk of getting melanoma, the most dangerous — and deadly —type of skin cancer.

This is the first time research has tested whether sunscreen protects against cancer. Previous studies have tested only protection against burns.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone, more than 75,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma and more than 10,000 will die from it.

The study at The Ohio State University found that mice treated with a melanoma-inducing chemical saw a delay in tumor development as well as fewer tumors when sunscreen with as little as SPF 30 was used.

“Next to staying out of the sun and away from tanning beds, we know that sunscreen is important in preventing skin cancer by preventing burning due to UV exposure,” said Joseph Flynn, D.O., physician-in-chief of Norton Cancer Institute. “This study shows that even a little bit of extra protection can go a long way in preventing melanoma.”

Common warning signs of melanoma

  • A change on the skin, such as a new growth or sore that won’t heal
  • Asymmetrical mole – one half does not match the other half
  • Border irregularity – edges of a mole are ragged, notched or blurred
  • Color – color of a mole is not the same throughout
  • Diameter of a mole is wider than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) or is growing


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