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Skin Cancer Prevention Update:
Date:11/8/2007

the primary cause of sunburn and skin cancer. UVA rays (which pass through window glass) penetrate deeper into the dermis, or base layer of the skin. UVA rays can cause suppression of the immune system, which interferes with the immune system's ability to protect an individual against the development and spread of skin cancer. Cumulative UVA exposure also is known to lead to signs of premature aging of the skin, such as wrinkling and age spots.

"Since the current SPF only provides a measurement of protection against the sun's shorter wavelength UVB rays, the proposed one-to-four star rating of a sunscreen's UVA protective effect -- corresponding to low, medium, high or very high -- will allow consumers to more easily understand the degree of protection afforded by a particular product against the sun's long wavelength UVA rays," explained Dr. Read. "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."

The public comment period for the rule ends in November, at which point the FDA will begin finalizing and implementing the rule.

To further increase public awareness that exposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer and that sunscreen products can reduce the incidence of skin cancer and save lives, the Academy launched the AAD Seal of Recognition(TM) program. Sunscreen products with an SPF of at least 15 that provide broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays can apply for the AAD's Seal of Recognition(TM) on their packaging.

"With so many products on the market that contain sunscreen and new formulas being introduced every year, the Academy has now made it easier for consumers to know which ones provide the best protection simply by looking for the AAD's Seal of Recognition logo," said Dr. Read.

Dr. Read added that dermatologists are hopeful that the current changes in sunscreen l
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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