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Does Sunshine Actually Decrease Dangerous Melanoma Skin Cancers?

Recent research blaming UV exposure for the growing incidences of melanoma has failed to consider crucial information that could turn the entire concept on its head, according to Dr. William Grant, an epidemiologist writing for the Vitamin D Council. One thing this research missed was that sometimes sunscreen can actually increase your risk of melanoma, especially in the northern hemisphere.

There are other studies showing that chronic UV exposure may actually reduce the risk of melanoma, Grant said. These studies show this happens at high latitudes above 40 degrees latitude.

The reason sunscreen above that latitude could be dangerous is because sunscreen does not block non-erythemal solar radiation well. There is also reasonable evidence that moderate solar UVB exposure and increases in vitamin D intake reduce the risk of melanoma.

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