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September 1997

The Case for Sunscreens: A Review of Their Use in Preventing Actinic Damage and Neoplasia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Center for Molecular Medicine, College of Medicine (Dr Naylor), and the Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy (Dr Farmer), University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(9):1146-1154. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890450096012

Background:  Recent controversy surrounding sunscreens has stimulated a reexamination of their use. The purposes of this article are to weigh the evidence regarding the value of sunscreens in preventing actinic damage and neoplasia and to evaluate the merit of objections that have been raised against their use for this purpose. Scientific aspects of damage from UV light, neoplasia, and sunscreens are reviewed. The value of sunscreen use in preventing actinic damage is discussed and a number of sunscreen controversies are revisited.

Observations:  The evidence favors the safety and efficacy of sunscreens for the prevention of actinic damage, melanoma, and nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Conclusion:  Sunscreens continue to be a practical and useful tool for the prevention of actinic damage and neoplasia.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:1146-1154