A group called PASS, or Public Access to Sunscreens Coalition, is pressing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve ingredients that are effective at blocking the type of ultraviolet (UVA) rays that can cause premature skin aging as well as melanoma.
So, what’s the hold up? While these ingredients have been used in Europe and Asia safely for some time, the laws in the United States regarding sunscreens are different than they are abroad.
Sunscreen is viewed as cosmetic in these other countries and getting new ingredients into them is not as difficult, or lengthy, of a process. In the United States, however, sunscreen must meet federal guidelines for over-the-counter drugs, and getting these new ingredients approved can take years; since 2002, in some instances.
This coalition is now making a public push to hurry things up with the FDA; “The centerpiece of their efforts is proposed federal legislation, called the Sunscreen Innovation Act, which would give the FDA a timeline for acting on sunscreen applications,” The Tampa Bay Times recently reported.
While the physician-grade sunscreens available at The Savin Center do have effective, active ingredients that protect against UVA rays as well as UVB rays, this new legislation is very interesting and exciting. We’re all about sun safety as well as educating our Fairfield County and New Haven County skin cancer screening patients which products are best suited to protect against basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
The Savin Center welcomes sunscreen improvements – but reminds you that the sunscreen itself isn’t usually the culprit when it comes to skin cancer.
“Many Americans simply do not use sunscreen,” said Dr. Ronald Savin, board-certified and Yale affiliated New Haven, Connecticut dermatologist. “And, if they do, many people aren’t using the proper strength – I recommend an SPF30 in cooler months and switching to an SPF50 in warmer months. Furthermore, not using enough sunscreen and re-applying often enough are other common mistakes that can, unfortunately, lead to the development of skin cancer.”
To schedule your skin cancer screening, or to learn which physician-strength SPF may be right for you, schedule your appointment at The Savin Center.