Sun screen

June 20, 2017 - 09:27


I was recently diagnosed with melanoma and had surgery including a skin graft on my cheek. Things are going as well as expected, but it is still hard to see what looks like a burn site taking up pretty much a third of my cheek.

I need to protect any skin not covered by clothes with sun screen for the rest of my life to reduce the risk of the melanoma returning. However, I am having great difficulty finding a sun screen that does not leave stains on my clothes. Has anyone found an effective sun screen that does not stain clothes?

Failing that, has anyone any washing recommendations to get around the problem?

I'd really appreciate any advice.

For those of you who may be wondering, yes, this is the same Kathleen who was diagnosed and treated successfully for breast cancer nearly 6 years ago. It is very hard going down Cancer Boulevard again.

Best wishes to all


June 26, 2017 - 09:32

Hi Kath,
many thanks for your message, I am sorry to hear of your melanoma Diagnosis. I am glad you have recovered well post your surgery and hope you had little side effects. Unfortunately most sun creams do stain, it is important when choosing a sun cream that you use a ‘broad-spectrum’ sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB; – SPF minimum 30, however; with a history of melanoma most dermatologist recommend factor 50. You may need to try a few before deciding on one that suits you and has less staining. To avoid staining most people apply their sun cream 20 minutes before you get dressed to aid full absorption. When reapplying during the day a tissue or a cloth can be inserted into your collar while applying and removed once the sun cream is absorbed.

• Apply to dry skin 20 minutes before going outside.
• Be extra careful of those areas that do not get much sun, they will burn more easily.
• For the average adult you will need 35mls of sunscreen to cover the whole body. We recommend using a measure of half a teaspoon of sunscreen to cover each arm, the face, neck and ears. Use a measure of one teaspoon for each leg, the front and the back of the body.
• Reapply every two hours.
• Check the products use-by date and store it below 30°C.

It should be applied liberally, 20-30 ml of sunscreen per application which equates roughly to a golf ball size of cream. Re apply sunscreen every 2 hours. You also need to reapply after being in water, towel drying or sweating. It may be a good idea to discuss this also with your dermatologist, they may be able to give you more information.
I hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Cancer Nurseline

June 27, 2017 - 12:06

Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it