Background: Avoiding extended exposure to direct sunlight and the topical application of sunscreen when exposed are the main techniques used to protect the skin form sunburn, photoaging, and skin cancer risk (melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer). Preventive strategies could lead to a significant reduction of the excessive health system cost for the treatment of these conditions. Sunscreen employment and efficacy stay controversial despite decades of humane use with health benefits closely related. At the present, few studies still found a connection between the use of sunscreen and not significant long-term benefits from UV induced damages. Objectives: To assess the effects of sunscreens for preventing melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer (basal or squamous carcinoma and melanoma) and precancerous skin lesions. Method: Published literature (1993–2017) was reviewed and eligible studies that reported the impact of sunscreen use in the prevention of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, or precancerous skin lesion were selected. Result: Starting from 532 sources, a total of seven articles met the inclusion criteria and they have been subjected to a systematic review. All of the included studies suggest that sunscreen use is associated with a reduction in melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and precancerous skin lesions; however, the difficulties in evaluating the efficiency of sunscreen were pointed out. Conclusion: The review of the experimental evidence supports the topical application of sunscreen as an effective effort in preventing skin cancer and precancerous skin lesions.
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