When it comes to picking the right sunscreen it is sometimes hard to make sense of all the labels. You almost need some type of decoding device. How do you know if you need UVB or UVA protection and what about the SPF. Is 30 as good as 100? If you’re confussed about what to select, good news about sunscreen about sunscreen is just aroung the corner. Actually, sunscreens could soon be getting a makeover. HealthWatch reporter, Beth Galvin is here to tell us more about changes coming our way.
People have been complaining about confusing sunscreen labels for years and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally proposing some major changes to those labels hoping to make sunscreen more user friendly so what does that mean, and where are we getting sunscreen all wrong? Well, we have some advice from a local dermatologist, Dr. D. Papadopoulos of MetroDerm, P.C.
Beth continues to report, “Even in the spring time the Georgia sun can be unforgiving so we reached for the sunscreen. That number on the bottle doesn’t tell the whole story. Dermatology surgeon Dr. Papadopoulous that sunscreen is only rated on its ability to protect against ultraviolet B or UVB rays which cause sunburn. The sun can also cause ultraviolet A or UVA damage. ”
Dr. Papadopoulas says ” UVA rays tend to make us get tanned but they also cause skin cancer as well. They penetrate a little deeper and they don’t burn us. UVA rays are found in tanning booths typically. Beth says, “Unde the new FDA’s guidelines sunscreen labels would have to include both their UVA and UVB protection ratings. Dr. Papadopoulas comments “so it’s a more complete way of the reporting how that sunscreen can protect you against the harmful rays of the sun. Not only one type of harmful ray, but the other type of harmful ray as well.”
Beth reports, “Another big change is that number on the bottle. Some products claim an SPF of 100, even a hundred 110. The FDA wants to cap it at 50.” Dr. Papadopoulos says “The difference between 50 or 100 is maybe 1%. So if the consumer is led to believe that is they use a 100 it’s going to be much better tan a 50 and therefore lead them to feel like if they put it on every five or six hours or it tends to protect them better, I don’t this shouldn’t be that confusion and that’s why I think the FDA correctly is going to put a cap on the number.”
Dr. Papadopoylos says “It is important to remember is to use an SPF of at least 15 and that’s about a shot glass of product each time. Put it on every 2 hours even if it says it’s water proof or water resistant. Dr. Papadopoulos also says “Any sunscreen that’s applied, no matter what the number, is only good for about 2 hours. After 2 hours it need to be reapplied.”