Montefiore dermatologist explains new FDA requirements and the latest advancements in sunscreen
NEW YORK (April 29, 2014) – As summer approaches, consumers stocking up on sun care products may be seeing some unfamiliar terms and others might be unable to find the types of products they have used in the past. That’s because this is the first summer in which new sunscreen standards and requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are in effect. Accounting for nearly half of all cases of cancer in the U.S., skin cancer is the most common type and more than 3.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with this potentially disfiguring, costly and deadly disease in 2014. The best way to lower the risk of skin cancer is to practice effective sun safety year round.
Adam Friedman, M.D., director of Dermatologic Research at Montefiore Medical Center explains what the FDA changes mean and offers tips to help people choose products that feature the latest advancements in sunscreen.
“UVA penetrates deeper into the skin where it can accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer. I call UVA the silent killer, because unlike UVB, it does not cause sunburns so it is hard to tell if you are getting harmful exposure,” said Dr. Friedman. “Broad spectrum sunscreen use should not be limited to beach outings or summer months. Recent research demonstrated that the skin aging process is significantly slower among people who apply broad spectrum sunscreen daily, year round.”
“The most important things to remember are to generously apply a shot-glass worth of broad spectrum SPF 30-50 sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours thereafter,” said Dr. Friedman. “But remember, sunscreen alone is not enough to protect you from skin cancer and skin aging. Wear hats, sun glasses and protective clothing and seek shade between 10 am and 4 pm during the summer months.”
Dr. Friedman also is an assistant professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. His practice focuses on complex medical dermatology and provides general dermatologic care. He is currently investigating novel nanotechnologies that allow for controlled and sustained delivery of a wide spectrum of physiologically and medicinally relevant molecules.