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"High Protection" Sunscreen Does Not Appear To Influence Longer Duration Of Sunbathing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Sunscreen and Skin Care

Sunbathers wearing sunscreen labeled as "high protection" did not spend more time in the sun during a week-long vacation compared to those wearing "basic protection" sunscreen, according to an article in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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"Sun exposure is the most important environmental factor involved in the development of skin cancer," according to background information in the article. Melanoma has had one of the greatest increases in incidence among solid tumors in the past three decades and accounts for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Although daily sunscreen use has been shown to prevent squamous cell skin carcinoma, several studies suggest that sunscreen use may be a risk factor instead of a protective one for melanoma. Some believe that higher protection by stronger sunscreens may encourage more time in the sun by delaying warning signs such as sunburn, giving one a false sense of safety.

Alain Dupuy, M.D., M.P.H., from the H