Dermatologist stresses importance of checking ingredients in sunscreen

As summertime approaches, it's important to talk about sun protection. But recent studies aren't necessarily encouraging people to lather on the sunscreen. The research finds certain chemicals in some sunscreens can enter the bloodstream very quickly after application.

Posted: Jun 5, 2019 6:27 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- For as long as its been around, doctors and dermatologists have encouraged people to protect their skin with sunscreen when out in the sun.

A new study is raising concerns over some chemicals in the lotion that could possibly be toxic. 

The chemicals found in sunscreens that entered the bloodstream in increased levels included oxybenzone, avobenzone and octocrylene.

Data released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said these chemicals are absorbed by humans at extremely high levels, far past the FDA's set standards.

That's raising concerns.

What does this mean? Should we avoid using sunscreen? 

Doctors say no, especially if you are spending time outside. 

Dr. Tamzin-Rosenwasser, a Dermatologist at IU Health, said not all sunscreens carry these potentially toxic chemicals. 

But does that mean these chemicals can be deadly or cause cancers?

"Well I don't think that's really known," said Dr. Tamzin-Rosenwasser. "But if the risk is high then why not use something safe?" 

By something safe, Dr. Tamzin-Rosenwasser recommends using sunscreens with zinc oxide as the only active ingredient. She said this chemical is known for being non toxic, and it can even help for skin relief after being in the sun. Some sunscreens she recommends are Aveeno baby and Neutrogena dry touch.

She explained to News 18 that sunscreen isn't the only option. In fact, it never was.

Wearing protective clothing rather than tank tops, shorts and flip flops are sure to help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

"People always tell me there was no such thing as sunblock when they were children, but I point out there was such a thing as clothing when Moses was a kid."

Dr. Tamzin Rosenwasser said there is still a lot of unknowns about these chemicals.

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