Putting sunscreens in their place

February 7, 2004

When it comes to photoprotection, people expect too much from sunscreens.In a perfect world - if people would put on enough to get full protection,reapply it as often as necessary, use a high enough SPF and a sunscreenwith the best protective ingredients, and start early enough in life protectingtheir skin from the sun - sunscreens might offer powerful protection againstmalignant melanoma and other skin conditions related to the sun. However,ours is not a perfect world and dermatologists should arm patients withthe reality that sunscreens alone are not the end-all solution in sun protection.