Sun, and exposure for a long time to its ultraviolet rays, has always been said to be bad for one's skin. However, new research by German scientists has shown that even moderate sun exposure can result in moles that may develop into melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Exposure to sun has been shown as the main risk factor for skin cancer, but the link between sun exposure and melanoma, the rarest type of skin cancer, is much weaker. It has however, been found that the more sun burns one has, as a child or a teenager, the higher their risk of developing melanoma. Also, according to the study that was published in the Journal Cancer, melanoma may even be genetic. This was concluded by the researchers after they discovered that a parent's mole count may help predict the number of moles that their child will develop.
One thousand eight hundred and twelve children, between the ages of two to seven, were studied by the researchers to find out if there was a link between sun exposure and moles. The children's parents were also checked for moles. They found that as children grew older, they developed more moles and those children with more moles spent more time outside and had longer holidays in the sun. Skin type, freckles, the ethnicity of the parents and the number of moles on the parents' arms also determined how many moles a child had.
The study concluded by cautioning that it is just not enough avoiding getting sunburnt; children should wear sun protection every day, no matter what the weather.