Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: melanoma

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 31 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5477
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

Sunlight is relaxing. Our body rewards us for being in the sun, and evolution dictates that everything happens for a reason. Pale skin was positively selected for as our ancestors ventured north, like economic migrants of 100 000 years ago, to aid synthesis of vitamin D in a temperate climate. It is no mere chance that the Celts who live in the perpetual rain of the west of the United Kingdom are porcelain pale. Sunlight is fundamental to human survival. Today, however, pressure groups call for a so called enforceable sun protection policy for children, involving sunscreen, …

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