Public health challenges in sun protection

Dermatol Clin. 2006 Jan;24(1):119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2005.08.007.


Sunscreens are a popular choice for protection from ultraviolet radiation, and hence, important components in the public health campaign to reduce the burden of skin cancer. Public health messages in skin cancer prevention have been used effectively in educational campaigns. The benefits of sunscreen extend beyond skin cancer prevention into other aspects of health and disease prevention: sunscreen decreases the risk for sunburn during physical activity outdoors and seems not to increase the risk for osteoporosis. Public health efforts have laid a solid foundation on which to face the continuing challenge of promoting and developing effective public health campaigns and health policies that encourage sunscreen use, sun protection, and the primary prevention of skin cancer. In this article, the controversies, concerns, and challenges of sunscreen use as it relates to public health are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Education
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control
  • Public Health*
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Sunscreening Agents