Dr. Sherry Ingraham explains misleading SPF labels
The numbers aren't always what they seem, especially when it comes to sunscreen. If you think you're doubling the protection by doubling the SPF number, you're in for a surprise. Dr. Sherry Ingraham of Advanced Dermatology explained, "People think, well I'm buying a 50, if I buy a 150 it's 3 times the protection, it's not true." Even though bottles are carrying new labels according to federal regulations, which are intended to give consumers clear information, SPF numbers are still being used. The Environmental Working Group, a consumer watchdog group, thinks those numbers are misleading and could give sun worshipers a false sense of security. They may stay in the sun well after the sunscreen stopped being effective. "An SPF of 30 confers about a 95% benefit, about 95% protection. SPF of 50 is about 97%, so you can see it's a very small incremental gain, and everything above 50 is even smaller." There is nothing that gives complete protection from the sun. Consider that as those damaging rays beat down on us. "You want to combine using an SPF broad spectrum sunscreen of 30 or higher, with sun protective clothing." We all enjoy a day at the beach, but remember 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. Is it really worth it? Dr. Ingraham recommends a yearly skin exam with a board certified dermatologist. Skin cancer and melanoma are treatable if caught early.