Does sunscreen work?

Does sunscreen work?

According to USA Today, a lawsuit filed against sunscreen manufactures alleges”fraud, negligence, and intentional deception in the marketing and labeling” of sunscreen. At issue: a claim that sunscreen is not really waterproof, that UVA rays that cause damage aren’t blocked as well as UVB rays that cause redness. I don’t particularly support lawsuits to deal with these issues, but it does have the benefit of raising awareness. From what I’ve picked up in discussions with dermatologists, there is likely some merit to the claims.

I have fair skin and have always tried to be careful about sun exposure. I relied mainly on sunscreen but would often find I’d missed a spot or two, causing some serious pain and burns, not to mention possible lasting damage. In recent years I’ve switched more to broad-brimmed hats and long clothing, some of it supplied by Sun Precautions, a company I wrote about before. I feel a lot more confident swimming with my Sun Precautions swimshirt than with sunscreen.

June 18, 2006

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