Sunscreen effectiveness depends on use, not number, expert says - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/1/09

Sunscreen effectiveness depends on use, not number, expert says

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Is bigger any better when it comes to the SPF on your sunscreen? One manufacturer has just released a product that claims to have an SPF in the triple digits.  So, how much of that is marketing and how much is science? "People always want more protection.  There are people in labs that will determine they may offer a slight benefit- in the laboratory.  Now whether that makes a difference in a patient in, for example, being exposed to sun.  Does that make much of a difference?  Probably not," said dermatologist Dr. Darron DiGiulio. 

The FDA is considering putting a cap on SPF numbers at 50.  There is some concern that consumers might think an SPF of 100 means you are 100% protected, but any sunscreen protection depends on how you use it.  No matter what the number, experts say you need to put it on about a half hour before you go outside and reapply it every 2 to 3 hours.

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