New research shows only 55% of Australians believe sunscreen is safe to use every day. The National Sun Protection Survey shows people are confused about the best sun protection methods.

Madeline Paulsen reports.


Growing up in the Northern Territory, Karen spent most of her time in the sun but unfortunately has suffered the consequences.

Karen van Gorp, Melanoma patient: “I had BCCs removed, burned off, lazered from my 20s and in 2011 I was diagnosed with a melanoma on my right shoulder.”

The World Congress of Melanoma in Brisbane this week is bringing together experts from around the globe in an effort to tackle skin cancer.

New Cancer Council research shows some Australians believe sunscreen can cause Vitamin D deficiency.

Others worry about skin irritations even though that side effect is very rare.

Associate Professor Stephen Shumack, Australasian College of Dermatologists: “There is no evidence that sunscreen contains any ingredients that are bad for health.”

The Cancer Council is urging Australians to trust sunscreen, as UV levels are becoming more extreme.

Craig Sinclair, Chair of Public Health Committee, Cancer Council Australia: “So our message is simple, people need to use sunscreen but more importantly they need to use more of it.”

And there are other alternatives.

The Cancer Council is encouraging people to protect themselves in other ways, such as covering up, wearing hats and sunglasses and seeking shade.

Madeline Paulsen, QUT News.