Has the sun protection factor had its day?
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Diffey B.

Regional Medical Physics Department, Newcastle General Hospital, UK


Summary points

  1. If sunscreens were applied appropriately, to prevent sunburn there would be no need for sun protection factors higher than 15
  2. People who use high factor sunscreens get sunburnt because of inadequate application
  3. Numerical indicators of sun protection on sunscreen packaging can cause more confusion than clarity
  4. Qualitative measures of labelling sunscreens are proposed that focus more on protection than on encouraging prolonged exposure to sunlight
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