Sunscreen use after skin cancer diagnosis?

It goes without saying that we all wear our sunscreens every single day, right? We have all learned that this damage from the sun and/or tanning beds was caused many, many years ago, and we will continue to have reoccurrences into the future. So I’m wondering what is the point of wearing sunscreen now, after all the damage has been done? I get that question a LOT from friends and family. Even the receptionist at my Mohs surgeon office proudly declared she doesn’t wear sunscreen (in front of all the bandaged people waiting for their results). I continue to wear it every day, but just wonder about it sometimes. Does it really do any good from a skin cancer standpoint. I’m hoping at least it will prevent more of those nasty brown/age spots.


Community Answers
  • smerri
    9 months ago

    I agree with all of your comments. I would like to add what my surgeon told me. With regards to my recent scars, from surgery, its like newborn baby skin protect it from damage! While i protect my scars i might as well protect all my skin. My doctor recommends 30+ spf WaterBabies sunblock. I love it its gentle and smells great!

  • ScottM moderator
    9 months ago

    I try to remember that sun damage is cumulative and that anything I do can affect things in the future. Also, my example of using sunscreen is powerful to my family and friends and helps them with their own sun protection regimen. This is not just about me, but about legions of others who can be affected by my example. Scott, skincancer.net Moderator)

  • Judy Cloud moderator
    9 months ago

    Because, unfortunately, not ALL the damage has been done. A person may have damaged their skin from tanning beds and/or over-exposure to the sun in the past, but they can continue to get damage. Sun screen (broad spectrum) can help prevent additional damage, if used properly and reapplied. Of course, that doesn’t mean that someone should spend hours and hours in the sun just because they are wearing sunscreen. It’s never too late to practice good sun habits!

  • April Pulliam moderator
    9 months ago

    I believe you’re right in thinking that sunscreen prevents further damage. I know the damage I have will continue to surface, but it’s my understanding that using sunscreen prevents new damage. It also prevents sunburn which only serves to rapidly multiply the rate of damage. Keep using yours and telling family and friends to use theirs. Being proactive now is so much better than the alternative! April, SkinCancer.net, Moderator

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