A recent article in the New York Times discussed the FDA’s recent action on sunscreen labeling laws. Only truly broad spectrum sunscreens will be able to list themselves as such. They will no longer be able to call themselves “sweatproof” or “waterproof” when no sunscreen really is. Unfortunately, they took no action on the use of SPF numbers higher than 50 which essentially make no difference in the level of sunscreen efficacy.
We suggest broad spectrum sunscreens with SPFs between 15 and 30. The brand really doesn’t matter much. Bloggers suggesting that sunscreens are carcinogenic themselves are not based in fact and we know, as a fact, that sunscreen use can prevent skin cancers.
We do, however, suggest that our patients realize that no sunscreen is fully protective and that protective clothing and hats be worn when intense sun exposure is expected. Lycra “rash guard” shirts are highly suggested when swimming or engaging in water sports.