Abstract: Background: The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is one of the fastest increasing cancers in both men and women. In the U.S in 1935 the lifetime risk of developing CMM was 1 in 1500. In 2007 it was 1 in 63. At the same time the availability to sunscreens has increased since it was first discovered in 1926. Although there may be other plausible explanations, such as fair skinned people traveling to lower latitudes and the invention of sun beds, it is disturbing to witness such an enormous growth of CMM. In this article I have tried to examine whether or not sunscreens can offer protection against the development of CMM. Methods: The article is based on a non-systematic literature search in pubmed. Results: Some papers claim that sunscreens protect against the development of CMM, most do not. In animal studies sunscreens protect against the development of skin tumors. However, in humans the evidence for the CMM protective outcome by the use of sunscreen is still under debate. Conclusions: Although it is not yet possible to draw conclusions whether sunscreens inhibit the development of CMM in humans, some aspects regarding their use are widely accepted: 1) After the application of sunscreen people are prone to remain in the sun for a longer period of time thus exposing themselves to additional ultraviolet radiation (UVR) instead of seeking shade and covering up with long-sleeved clothes, the preferred method of sun protection. 2) To avoid painful sun induced erythema especially fair skinned humans use sunscreens intentionally to extend the sun bathing period although they are at higher risk than dark skinned to develop CMM. The incorrect use of sunscreens in a steadily growing sun seeking fair skinned population might be the main reason why the incidence of CMM increases rapidly and thereby not the sunscreen in itself.