Effectiveness, compliance and application of sunscreen for solar ultraviolet radiation protection in Australia
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AbstractObjectives and importance of study: Sunscreens are widely used, not only to prevent acute sunburn, but also for skin cancer prevention and protection against photoaging and other skin conditions related to cumulative solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. When correctly applied, sunscreens reduce the amount of UVR reaching the skin and therefore they can reduce harmful effects of such exposures. This paper examines the benefits and risks of sunscreens, compliance requirements and how sunscreen should be used for optimal effectiveness. Study type: Narrative review. Methods: We reviewed evidence relating to the benefits and risks of sunscreens, sunscreen manufacturing compliance, consumer usage of sunscreen and how sunscreen should be used to be most effective. Results: There is strong evidence that sunscreen is safe to use and, when applied correctly, reduces the risk of skin cancer. There is a need to address questions about the impact of sunscreen on vitamin D and its risk to the environment, as well as a need to develop sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen testing methods that are more reproducible and ethically based. The amount of sunscreen and the way it is applied varies considerably between individuals, and this in turn markedly affects the degree and duration of protection received. Sunscreen should be used in combination with other sun protection measures that include clothing, hats, sunglasses and seeking shade. Conclusions: Regulation is essential to ensure high-quality, safe and effective sunscreen products are available to the Australian population. There is an important role for governments to put in place skin cancer prevention policies and long-term funding arrangements to build on our successful sunscreen programs so that future generations are afforded the highest level of topical protection against solar UVR.
CitationHenderson S, King K, Karipidis K, Tinker R, Green A. Effectiveness, compliance and application of sunscreen for solar ultraviolet radiation protection in Australia. Vol. 32, Public Health Research & Practice. The Sax Institute; 2022.
JournalPublic Health Res Pract
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