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Doctors Urge Routine Skin Screenings
Date:5/6/2012

nistration-mandated labels beginning June 18, the experts noted. So, when looking for sunscreen, be sure its label has the following:

  • Provides "broad-spectrum protection," or UVA as well as UVB coverage measured by the given sun-protection factor (SPF) value.
  • "SPF 30" (or higher). Being protected by SPF 30 means it will take 30 minutes of sun exposure to get the same amount of UV light penetration as you would get in just one minute with unprotected skin. The Mount Sinai specialists noted anything lower than SPF 30 will have the following label warning: "Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging."
  • "Water-resistant." The new FDA rules prohibit any sunscreen from being labeled as "waterproof." Those marked "water-resistant" have been shown to pass a standard 40- or 80-minute test of water exposure followed by UV testing.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about skin cancer.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Mount Sinai Medical Center, news release, April 27, 2012


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