Hong Kong Dermatology & Venereology Bulletin

Volume 9 Number 3, September 2001

Sunscreens: Is Looking at Sun Protection Factor Enough?

Dr. T. Y. Ho
Social Hygiene Service (Dermatology), Department of Health, Hong Kong

As mounting evidence points to the photocarcinogenicity and the photoaging potential of chronic ultraviolet A (UVA) exposure, broad-spectrum sunscreens that are effective against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and UVA radiation are obviously preferred. Older chemical filters are not effective against the longer UVA. Several chemical filters have been developed recently to provide invisible protection for the UVA spectrum. The sun protection factor (SPF) can only indicate the level of protection against UVB, but not UVA. There is not yet any widely accepted method to measure UVA protection.

Keywords : Review, sunscreen, ultraviolet A

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