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Study Suggests Many Sunscreens May Not Meet Dermatology Group’s Guidelines

A recent study published in JAMA Dermatology examined top consumer-rated sunscreens and found that approximately 40% did not meet American Academy of Dermatology criteria. According to requirements from the American Academy of Dermatology, a sunscreen should:

  • Have a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30
  • Protect skin against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Be resistant to water and sweat

The researchers, who were from Northwestern University, examined reviews found on Amazon, where interestingly about 9% of all sunscreen is purchased. There are 6,500 sunscreen types available on the website, and the study focused on the 1% that received the highest ratings

The study found that, of the 65 sunscreens studied:

  • 11% did not have a minimum 30 SPF
  • 8% did not offer protection for both UVA and UVB rays
  • 38% did not withstand water or sweat

The study indicated that the main reason products failed to meet sunscreen requirements is that they could be easily rinsed off with water or sweat. The study of the user comments/reviews found that consumers cared more about the “feel” of the product or whether it was difficult to rub in. In other words, consumers cared more about this than the overall effectiveness.

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The Importance of Sunscreen

There are several reasons to wear sunscreen, above all the fact that it provides protection against developing skin cancer. Approximately 5.4 million Americans develop non-melanoma skin cancer every year. These types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) are very treatable and rarely spread. On the other hand, about 76,000 Americans develop melanoma every year. While melanoma accounts for only 2% of skin cancer case, this type of skin cancer causes the majority of fatalities. Most of us know that wearing sunscreen is important; however, statistics show that only about 3 in 10 actually wear it, along with taking other measures to protect themselves against the sun.

Dr. Thomas Wright of Laser Lipo and Vein Center says, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen, along with using other sun protection tips such as wearing protective clothing and staying out of the sun during the time of day when the rays are the strongest.”

He continues, “It is also important to understand the early symptoms and signs of skin cancer. Most skin cancers respond very well to early detection and treatment.”

If you want to know more about the best sunscreens to use or more information about skin cancer, give the Laser Lipo and Vein Center a call.

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