American Academy of Dermatology Association Issues Statement in Response to the Food and Drug Administration's 2007 Proposed Sunscreen Rule

Friday, August 24, 2007 General News
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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 23 The American Academy ofDermatology Association (Academy) today issued a statement in response to theFood and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed new regulations for formulating,testing and labeling over-the-counter sunscreens.

"The American Academy of Dermatology Association (Academy) is pleased thatthe Food and Drug Administration has issued its 2007 Proposed Sunscreen Ruletoday," stated practicing dermatologist Diane R. Baker, MD, FAAD, president ofthe Academy. "The Academy strongly supports the FDA's ongoing efforts toprovide current and useful information to help the public make knowledgeabledecisions about protecting themselves from the dangers of the sun."

"Since the release of the sunscreen monograph by the FDA in 1999, theAcademy has urged the FDA to include requirements for ultraviolet A (UVA)coverage in sunscreens and to increase the sun protection factor (SPF) allowedfor sunscreens," stated Dr. Baker. "We commend the FDA for addressing both ofthese important issues in the 2007 Proposed Sunscreen Rule."

"The proposed one to four star rating of a sunscreen's UVA protectiveeffect (corresponding to low, medium, high or very high protection) will allowconsumers to more easily understand the degree of protection afforded by aparticular product against the long wave (UVA) rays of the sun," added Dr.Baker. "The SPF is a measurement of protection against the shorter wavelengthrays emitted by the sun (UVB)."

"The Academy also commends the FDA for requiring the use of a warninglabel on sunscreen products to emphasize the dangers of sun exposure and toeducate the public on how to avoid sun damage," added Dr. Baker. "Thiswarning is consistent with the Academy's efforts to encourage the public topractice a comprehensive sun protection program and Be Sun Smart(TM)."

This year more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosedin the United States and 108,230 of those will be new cases of melanoma(including melanoma in situ), the deadliest form of skin cancer. Excessiveexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most important preventable causeof skin cancer.

"The Academy is committed to reducing the incidence of skin cancer andeducating the public about the importance of sun safety," stated Dr. Baker."We look forward to working with the FDA to finalize the 2007 proposedsunscreen rule and provide the public with the information necessary toeffectively protect themselves from the damaging rays of the sun."To Be Sun Smart(TM), the Academy encourages the public to: -- Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Look for the AAD SEAL OF RECOGNITION(TM) on products that meet these criteria. -- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible. -- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. -- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn. -- Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen. -- Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don't seek the sun. -- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you've been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it. -- Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin

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