Sunscreens are one of the most essential means to protect oneself from the harmful UV rays of the sun and protect oneself from skin cancer. Skin cancer, say health officials, remains one of the most common cancers diagnose in the United States. Millions of people use sunscreens with an SPF of over 15 when stepping out. New studies are focussing on the safety of these sunscreens for long term use.
A recent trial called “MUsT” or maximal usage trial look at the long term use and safety of sunscreens. The study was titled, Effect of sunscreen application under maximal use conditions on plasma concentration of sunscreen active ingredients: a randomize clinical trial.
Four commonly available sunscreen
The study results were publish yesterday (6th of May 2019) in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This pilot study was conduct by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, an arm of the US Food and Drug Administration. The researchers look at four commonly available sunscreen products that are use maximally in a population.
They observe the amount of the drug absorb via the skin; so when apply over it maximally as direct by the manufacturers. Results revealed that all of the four active ingredients; which present in the formulations of sunscreen were absorb via the skin. The researchers add that there is no evidence that these ingredients are unsafe; but say that more studies are necessary to evaluate the safety of these ingredients when they are absorb via the skin.
They also state that most of the safety tests are part of a product’s approval; also need to conduct before it is available for use. Same is true for each of these ingredients, the authors of the study assure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now strictly regulates sunscreens like other drugs and formulations; so has the same stringent set of rules that go into their approval.
As part of the new rule, the FDA has called upon manufacturers to come up with extensive safety; so data on 12 active ingredients present in commonly available sunscreen formulations. The FDA states that ingredients that are absorb 0.5 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) or higher in blood need to undergo strict safety tests; hence to see if they lead to cancers or birth defects in the users. Their safety is not yet ascertained.
Products as well as their use
The study focuses on maximal use of these products as well as their use in young children and in pregnant women. The authors explain that as the sunscreens become more powerful and broad spectrum; hence to protect against the UV rays of the sun, the concentrations of their key ingredients tend to rise.
Studies need to be perform to evaluate this finding and determine; so whether there are true medical implications to absorption of certain ingredients. The sun is the real enemy here It’s not news that things that you put on your skin are absorbed into the body. This study is the FDA’s way of showing sunscreen manufacturers they need to do the studies to see if chemical absorption poses health risks.”
Commeting on the latest study, former FDA Chairman Dr. Robert Califf assure that the results of the study do not mean these ingredients are unsafe. The Personal Care Products Council; so the national trade council for sunscreen, cosmetic and personal care product chief scientist; hence Alex Kowcz said, The presence of sunscreens in plasma after maximal use does not necessarily lead to safety issues.
It’s important for consumers to know that for the purpose of this study; so sunscreens were apply to 75% of the body, four times per day for four days; which is twice the amount that would be apply in what the scientific community considers real-world conditions.” She add that reports of this kind may dissuade the general population from using sunscreen.