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American Academy of Dermatology Association comments on FDA proposed sunscreen administrative order

Statement from AADA President Kenneth J. Tomecki, MD, FAAD

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Sept. 24, 2021) — Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and dermatologists see the impact of this disease on their patients and their families every day. As such, skin cancer prevention is a top public health priority for the American Academy of Dermatology Association and its members.

Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a major risk factor for skin cancer. The Academy recommends a comprehensive sun protection plan that includes seeking shade; wearing protective clothing, including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses; and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to uncovered skin.

Sunscreen is an important tool in the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The Academy appreciates the FDA’s mission to ensure the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter sunscreen products based on sound science and supports orders that ensure the public has access to safe and effective sunscreens.

We applaud the efforts by the FDA and industry to prioritize patient health. We look forward to the completion of the required testing and analysis to help eliminate public confusion about sunscreen ingredients.

The Academy’s sun protection recommendations are based on the existing body of scientific evidence and the FDA’s regulations. Current scientific evidence supports the use of sunscreen to minimize short-term and long-term damage to the skin from the sun’s rays.

Approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. receive the diagnosis of skin cancer daily, and nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma every day. Both the Academy and the FDA advise consumers to continue to use sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun’s dangerous UV rays and decrease their risk of skin cancer.

The Academy remains committed to supporting and enhancing patient care. Until the proposed is finalized, we encourage the public to continue protecting itself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.



Nicole Dobkin, (847) 240-1748, ndobkin@aad.org

(847) 330-0230, mediarelations@aad.org

Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association is the resource for government affairs, health policy and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating policies that can enhance the quality of dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to excellence in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of skin disease; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education and research in medical dermatology, surgical dermatology and dermatopathology; and supporting and enhancing patient care to reduce the burden of disease. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1) and YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).