Anti-Aging starts with sunscreen: when, which, and what for? | 71978
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Anti-Aging starts with sunscreen: when, which, and what for?


Adelina Timofte, Aleodor (Doru) Andea.

Statement of the Problem: With the recent increase in skin cancer

incidence and heightened public awareness regarding the deleterious

effects of sun exposure on skin, there is a surge in the use of sunscreen

products. Dermatologists and cosmetologists are often at the frontline

among other healthcare practitioners in recommending these products to

patients. However, there is little evidence-based knowledge about the

real efficacy of sunscreens in protecting against aging and skin

neoplasia. The purpose of this study is to examine the peer-reviewed

literature and perform a meta-analysis evaluating the protection offered

by various sunscreen formulations against skin cancers and sun-induced


Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A literature search was

conducted on PubMed with “sunscreen”, “aging” and various types of

skin cancers. The resulting abstracts were screened for relevance. For all

the relevant abstracts, the full text was retrieved and analyzed.


Conclusion & Significance: There is a huge discrepancy between public

perception of sunscreen efficacy and the real protection offered against

aging. SPF factor is especially misleading in providing a false sense of

security. Among various sunscreen preparations, the ones with physical

blockers are most effective. When used correctly, sunscreens offer

protection against common epidermal carcinomas such as squamous cell

carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. However, there is controversy

regarding the protection offered by sunscreens against melanoma, the

deadliest type of skin cancer. Some studies claim a protective effect

while others conclude that there is no difference or even that the use of

sunscreens puts someone at increased risk for melanoma. The

conclusions of this study are useful for medical practitioners such as

dermatologists in adjusting their recommendations to patients regarding

the use of sunscreens.

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