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22 October 2015

AAD statement on the safety of sunscreen

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Oct. 22, 2015) – Statement from Mark G. Lebwohl, MD, FAAD, President, American Academy of Dermatology — “The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) wants to emphasize to consumers that sunscreen remains a safe, effective form of sun protection. As one component of a daily sun-protection strategy, sunscreen is an important tool in the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Current scientific data does not support claims that sunscreen ingredients are toxic or a hazard to human health. Rather, evidence supports the benefits of applying sunscreen to minimize short- and long-term damage to the skin from UV radiation.

Sunscreen products contain one or more active drug ingredients -- compounds that absorb, scatter or reflect UV light -- and are regulated as over-the-counter drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has several safety and effectiveness regulations in place that govern the manufacture and marketing of all sunscreen products, including safety data on its ingredients.

The Academy hopes that consumers will soon have more sunscreen options as a result of the passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act. While the law has faced implementation challenges, the Academy is working closely with the FDA to ensure that new and effective sunscreen ingredients are available to consumers in an expedited manner.

To reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging, dermatologists continue to recommend generously applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen – that protects against both types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) – with an SPF 30 or higher, in conjunction with other sun-safe practices such as limiting sun exposure, seeking shade, and wearing sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.”

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