13 September 2008

Apply SunscreenThere is a need for taking protective and preventative measure to guard against the damaging effects of the complete spectrum of UV light and consumer education regarding the harmful effects of both short and long wave UV radiation. Sunburn protection measures should be taken early in life, preferably as children, and continued throughout life so as to prevent the cumulative effects of excessive sun exposure. The best methods of sunburn protection are avoidance during peak hours, protective clothing, including hats, sunglasses, and light-colored tightly woven garments, and the use of topical products containing chemical filters (sunscreen).

SunlightSunscreen accomplish this by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the harmful or burning rays of the sun. The greatest benefit of sunscreen is achieved through a combination of several active ingredients in order to provide the widest range of sun protection, and they must be applied in adequate amounts as their efficacy is dose dependent. The active sunscreen ingredients, chosen based on their ability to absorb light at different wavelength throughout the ultraviolet (UV A and UV B) range, act like a series of filters to remove or cancel out the most harmful and damaging rays of the sun.Sunscreen must contain several filters that together provide complete, broad spectrum UV A and UV B, and protection should be balanced across the UV B and UV A range.

Broad spectrum claims for sunscreen are permitted wherein the sunscreen must include UVA filters to optimize protection against chronic photodamage and resultant photoaging, and most certainly against skin cancer in human subjects.

Nole and Johnson show that over a lifetime a person will receive tens of thousands of minimal erythema doses worth of UVR through normal, daily, incidental exposure. Cumulative effect of even casual sun exposure over the years underscores the need for everyday basic UV radiation protection in which even low-level (SPF 4 to 10) sunscreens :
  • Sunscreen ProductsAnalysis shows that daily protection from sun exposure can reduce lifetime exposure by 50% or more
  • SPF 15 sunscreen with daily skin applications during a 5 years was reduce to 39%
  • Risk of all types of melanoma increased with increased severity and history of sunburns up to 12 years old and also increased with lack of sunscreen use.
  • Reported that limiting sun exposure, beginning during childhood and adolescence, through the use of an SPF 15 sunscreen could reduce the lifetime risk of nonmelanoma skin cancers by as much as 78%
  • After using a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen during sun exposure for 3 years, significantly fewer acquired melanocytic nevi were identified on their skin.
  • There was a reduction of solar keratoses (a risk factor in development of squamous cell carcinoma) by regular sunscreen use.
  • The use of sunscreens on a regular basis as early in life as possible can reduce the risk of the skin cancer caused by exposure to UV radiation.

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