Yesterday, the FDA sent warning letters to companies marketing supplemental pills and capsules that purportedly provide protection from the sun. The FDA has not approved any oral medications that can achieve protection from ultraviolet rays and took the step of sending these warning letters to protect consumers from false and misleading claims.
Sunscreen is the only over-the-counter medication the FDA has approved to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. When selecting a sunscreen, consumers should look for broad-spectrum coverage to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, you should look for SPF 15 or higher. The FDA requires sunscreens below SPF 15 to include a warning label that the product may only prevent sunburn and is not proven to prevent skin cancer or early aging.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and this Friday is Don’t Fry Day. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States and most cases are preventable because of its linkage to exposure to UV radiation. Sunscreen, shade and sun-protective clothing are all important elements in practicing sun-safe behavior.
ASDSA continues to work with state legislatures across the country to ensure statewide policies allow children to possess and apply sunscreen at school and camps. For more information, visit asds.net/SUNucate.