INTRODUCTIONSunscreens are a pivotal part of the prevention armamentarium against sunburns, photoaging, skin cancers, and photodermatoses. The US Food and Drug Administration mandates that commercial sunscreen products be labeled with their sun protection factor (SPF) which in turn is calculated as the ratio of skin's reactivity to artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation with and without the application of a standardized sunscreen. Ultraviolet reactivity can be determined as a physiologic threshold response referred to as the minimal erythema dose (MED) and defined as the lowest dose of UV radiation required to generate erythema with clear borders that is perceptible 24‐hour after exposure. In the United States and Europe, SPF is specifically determined by dividing the skin's MED with 2 mg/cm2 of applied sunscreen by the MED of untreated skin. In real‐life conditions, sunscreens are applied at levels that are significantly lower than those used for SPF testing, even by patients at risk for skin cancer or those with photodermatoses. The literature suggests that typical real‐life application is more likely to be around 0.5‐1.0 mg/cm2. Furthermore, there is a relationship between amount of sunscreen applied and the measured SPF. Consequently, patients are likely to get lower sun protection than what is stated on the
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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