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Paper Details

Perspectives on the FDA’s Sunscreen Policy: New Aging Theory, Sunlight Benefits, Enhanced Immunity, COVID-19 Mortality, Modelling Analyses, Melanoma Risks and Etiology  

Perspectives on the FDA’s Sunscreen Policy: New Aging Theory, Sunlight Benefits, Enhanced Immunity, COVID-19 Mortality, Modelling Analyses, Melanoma Risks and Etiology  

Win L Chiou1*

Journal Title:Journal of Dermatology Research
Abstract


Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s policy on sunscreens assumes that exposure to sunlight, mainly ultraviolet (UV) rays, damages the skin, the damage is cumulative and any sun exposure should be avoided or minimized. Sunscreens are approved to help prevent early skin aging, sunburn and skin cancer. This work presents provocative perspectives on some issues related to use of sunscreens shown below. Skin aging is predominantly caused by the intrinsic nutritional factor. Sunlight damage is unlikely cumulative due to extremely efficient self-repair/self-defense mechanisms of the body. Regular exposure to moderate non-burning sunlight increases immunity and protects against sunburn, melanoma, COVID-19 mortality, high blood pressure, etc. White and non-white populations may need sun protection only when the UV Index is ≥ 5-6 and ≥ 7-8, respectively. Modelling analyses suggest that sunscreens with SPF 8 and 2-6 may be adequate for whites and non-whites, respectively. There are inherent risks of sunburn and melanoma when sunscreen is used intermittently mainly due to unavoidable SPF-independent missing applications and may serve as a false security; this may mainly account for exponential increases in melanoma incidences in recent decades; thus, the more intermittent use of sunscreen, the more incidence of sunburn and skin cancer. 10am-2pm sunlight avoidance guidelines may need modification. Extensive human studies suggest that intense UVB from sunburn, not UVA or sub-erythemal UVB, may cause melanoma; this hypothesis is supported by mouse and fish models. Without exposure to burning sunlight, we may not need to use broad-spectrum sunscreens or UVB-based sunscreens in our daily lives. Potential implications of this work may be immense in terms of saving lives and improving health of consumers, reducing costs associated with marketing and use of sunscreens, as well as reducing environmental pollution.