Sunscreen :: American Academy of Dermatology Association’s response to FDA’s proposed sunscreen rule

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (Academy) issued a statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration?s (FDA) proposed new regulations for formulating, testing and labeling over-the-counter sunscreens.

?The American Academy of Dermatology Association (Academy) is pleased that the Food and Drug Administration has issued its 2007 Proposed Sunscreen Rule today,? stated practicing dermatologist Diane R. Baker, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy.

?The Academy strongly supports the FDA?s ongoing efforts to provide current and useful information to help the public make knowledgeable decisions about protecting themselves from the dangers of the sun.?

?Since the release of the sunscreen monograph by the FDA in 1999, the Academy has urged the FDA to include requirements for ultraviolet A (UVA) coverage in sunscreens and to increase the sun protection factor (SPF) allowed for sunscreens,? stated Dr. Baker. ?We commend the FDA for addressing both of these important issues in the 2007 Proposed Sunscreen Rule.?

?The proposed one to four star rating of a sunscreen?s UVA protective effect (corresponding to low, medium, high or very high protection) will allow consumers to more easily understand the degree of protection afforded by a particular product against the long wave (UVA) rays of the sun,? added Dr. Baker. ?The SPF is a measurement of protection against the shorter wavelength rays emitted by the sun (UVB). ?

?The Academy also commends the FDA for requiring the use of a warning label on sunscreen products to emphasize the dangers of sun exposure and to educate the public on how to avoid sun damage,? added Dr. Baker. ?This warning is consistent with the Academy?s efforts to encourage the public to practice a comprehensive sun protection program and Be Sun Smart?.?

To Be Sun Smart?, the Academy encourages the public to:

Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Look for the AAD SEAL OF RECOGNITION? on products that meet these criteria.

Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.

Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun?s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.

Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen.

Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don?t seek the sun.

Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you?ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.

Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.

This year more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 108,230 of those will be new cases of melanoma (including melanoma in situ), the deadliest form of skin cancer. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most important preventable cause of skin cancer.

?The Academy is committed to reducing the incidence of skin cancer and educating the public about the importance of sun safety,? stated Dr. Baker. ?We look forward to working with the FDA to finalize the 2007 proposed sunscreen rule and provide the public with the information necessary to effectively protect themselves from the damaging rays of the sun.?

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