Top 10 sun myths

Friday, November 21, 2003
Myth 1
Children need a lot of direct sun exposure, or they will develop a vitamin D deficiency.
False
The average child in NSW gets enough Vitamin D from their everyday activities, even when well protected with hats, sunscreen and clothing.

Myth 2
If my baby is jaundiced or has nappy rash, exposure to direct sunlight is helpful.
False
Expose your baby's skin to fresh air, not sunlight. Jaundice should be monitored by a doctor.

Myth 3
Sunscreen use may actually increase skin cancer rates.
False
Research shows that problems can arise if people use sunscreen to prolong their time in their sun. If used correctly, broad-spectrum sunscreen can lower skin cancer rates.

Myth 4
My child has olive skin therefore they are not at risk of skin cancer.
False
Anyone, regardless of skin type, who spent their childhood in Australia is at high risk of developing skin cancer.

Myth 5
I’m not concerned about skin cancer, if it happens I’ll see it, it’s easy to treat and only old people get it.
False
Skin cancer can happen to you when you're young and treatment can result in permanent scarring. Check your skin regularly and consult your GP immediately if you notice any changes.

Myth 6
It takes at least half an hour to get sunburnt.
False
It is possible to get burnt in as little as 11 minutes due to the high levels or UV radiation year round. It's important to be protected whenever you're out in the sun, even for short periods.

Myth 7
Sunscreen is toxic.
False
There is no evidence of any long-term harmful effects associated with the use of Australian sunscreen. Cancer Council sunscreen has the least amount of chemicals possible.

Myth 8
One application of sunscreen in the morning is enough.
False
No sunscreen provides 100% protection and it should always be used in conjunction with other sun protection methods. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours.

Myth 9
By using fake tan I’m darkening my skin so it’s protected from the sun.
False
Fake tanning lotion is like dying your skin - the change is only external. There is no improvement in your body's ability to protect itself from the sun.

Myth 10
You can’t get burnt in the car or through a window .
False
Glass significantly reduces transmission of UVB rays, but only a third of UVA rays. Both UVA and UVB radiation contribute to sunburn and skin cancer.

Source: Cancer Council NSW.
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