Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that sunscreen products meeting modem standards for effectiveness may be labeled with new information to help consumers find products that, when used with other sun protection measures, reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, along with preventing sunburn.
What does this all mean?
Those sunscreen products that pass the FDA's test for protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays will be labeled as "Broad Spectrum". Only products labeled as "Broad Spectrum" with 15 SPF or higher will now be able to state on their labels that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, when used as directed. Products not in this range will require a warning label stating that the product has NOT been shown to prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.
* Will these new regulations affect which sunscreens you purchase for your family?
* What types of sunscreen do you have in your house right now? UVA, UVB, both, which SPF?
* What questions would you ask the FDA about sunscreen use or these regulations?
WebMD will present our members' questions to an FDA panel today at 2 p.m.
Dear Olivia: Sorry to have missed the deadline for questions. I would add a comment, however. I do not think women are generally clear about the differences between UVA and UVB, and their effects on skin. As one dermatologist explained:
"Think of UVA as the Aging type of rays and UVB as more the skin Burning (ie sunburn) type."
It is unfortunate that many sunscreens have not had clear labeling in the past.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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