Skip to main content

Debunking myths about sunburn

  • The bad and good news
  • Sunburn and the 8 myths
  • Pharmacist expertise

Long after the pain and discomfort of sunburn fades, lasting damage remains. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that apart from accelerating skin ageing, sunburn is the leading cause of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Sunburn is the bad news but the good news is that it can be prevented simply by being aware and sensible.

Let’s debunk some myths about sunburn!
A Forbes article by Norma Nazish listed 8 myths.

  1. I’m not at risk when it’s cloudy. WRONG! The sun’s harmful UV rays are present throughout the year.
  2. The damage was done in my youth. It’s too late now. WRONG! By the age of 22, only 20% of your lifetime damage has been accrued. It’s not too late to become sun-smart.
  3. I used SPF 50 this morning. It will last the whole day. WRONG! You should apply sunscreen every two hours or sooner after having a swim.
  4. I have to get Vitamin D from the sun. FALSE! Given the choice of essential Vitamin D from UV radiation or eating foods rich in Vitamin D and taking supplements, choose the latter options.
  5. Dark-skinned people are not at risk. WRONG! People of all races need to practise care in the sun.
  6. Skin cancer only affects older people. WRONG! Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults.
  7. Tanning beds are safer than sunbathing. WRONG! The amount of radiation from sun lamps exceeds that of the sun during peak hours. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  8. Having a mole or skin lesion diagnosed requires surgery. NOT NECESSARILY! Consult with your doctor or dermatologist because there are options which are non-invasive where appropriate.

There are many sunscreen products available and you need to make the right choice for your family.

Before even talking about the array of different brands, there are the broader categories of chemical sunscreens which absorb and block the transmission of UVR and then there are physical sunscreens which reflect and scatter UVR. The choices can be confusing for customers. There is also the aspect of correctly applying sunscreen in order for it to be effective. Our Link pharmacists are easily accessible and this could be one of your most important conversations this summer.



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.