Q: An independent laboratory is calling on the FDA to issue a recall after detecting benzene, a known human carcinogen, in 78 sunscreen and after-sun products. As a dermatologist, what was your reaction to this report?
- While this report raises concerns, it’s important to note that this is one report, and the claims need to be validated.
- As the authors of the report point out, the majority (73%) of the sunscreen products tested did not have benzene contamination.
- The FDA regulates over-the-counter sunscreen products. We’ll know more once the FDA reviews this report and determines if the benzene levels detected exceed the FDA’s limits and how it should be addressed.
- We see the impact of overexposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays every day in our office. It’s the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form.
- We tell our patients who are concerned by this report and may not be comfortable wearing sunscreen right now to choose a sun-protection option they are comfortable with.
- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Dress to protect yourself from the sun by wearing a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible. For more effective sun protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label.
We have convenient locations in Munster, Valparaiso, Dyer, and Demotte and are open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm.
Give us a call at 219-228-4200 or visit our website: www.dermiodermatology.com to schedule your appointment!