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FDA Sunscreen Regulations and Sun Safety

Top 5 Myths About Sunscreens:

  1. They completely block out UVA and UVB rays.
  2. They are waterproof.
  3. They provide “all day” protection.
  4. SPF 100 is 4 times SPF 25.
  5. Sunscreen prevents you from producing Vitamin D.

The FDA has recently created new sunscreen regulations to clarify the confusion with SPFs, labeling, and sun protection. Currently, a sunscreen can claim that it is “broad spectrum” for both UVA ( the aging, deeper penetrating rays) and UVB (the burning rays) without having an appropriately protective UVA ingredient. Now the government will require the sunscreen manufacturers to use a strong enough UVA ingredient if they claim “broad spectrum protection”. What does this mean for you? An easier time determining what sunscreen is best for you. What do we recommend? We prefer a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and for many patients, one containing zinc oxide. Even these sunscreens are not water proof, they are water resistant. All sunscreens need to be reapplied every 2 hours while out in the sun. The SPF ratings refer to UVB protection only, and the numbers are not linear. Even while you wear sunscreen, you are still getting some sun exposure and will still have Vitamin D production. However, we do recommend Vitamin D supplementation from foods or pharmaceutical grade supplements such as AmeriSciences Osteo.

If you haven’t had a yearly skin exam, now is the time to visit us to find out your risks of developing skin cancer. Call us at 312-245-9965, and make your appointment today!