To the Editor, While it is known that sunscreen is essential in protection of ultraviolet‐induced damage and skin cancer prevention, inadequate application of sunscreen can decrease the actual efficacy . The ability for a sunscreen to prevent sunburn is designated by its ‘sun protection factor’ (SPF), which is defined as a ratio of minimal erythema dose of simulated sunlight on protected skin compared with unprotected skin . SPF determination is done by applying sunscreens in an amount of 2 mg/cm 2 . However, in reality, the average amount of sunscreen applied was 0.5 mg/cm 2 (range 0.39–0.79 mg/cm 2 ), independent of skin type . To apply 2 mg/cm 2 of sunscreen the whole body, a typical adult averaging 1.73 m 2 would require 35 ml of sunscreen . A common advice for patients on the amount of sunscreen used is the size of a ‘golf ball’ or a ‘shot glass’ for the entire body. A golf ball weighs 45 g, which is approximately 45 ml, exceeding the required 35 ml of sunscreen application for the typical adult. In the United States, the ‘single’ shot glass size is 44 ml. However, the limitation of the above advice is
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2013
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