• Jennifer Goldwasser, MD

Sunblock: current controversies

Delighted to receive in the mail today, from a longtime patient, this article from Financial Times:


The author, Kathleen Baird-Murray, points out several truths about sun protection, including that physical sunblocks (those that contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide) are safe and effective, and that other means of sun protection, such as midday sun avoidance and sun protective clothing, should be part of a comprehensive plan to minimize unwanted exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The "one-size-fits-all" approach rarely works when it comes to medical advice, and that is certainly the case when it comes to sun exposure/protection. Sunlight has some positive effects on health, too, and each individual must weight his/her own risks and benefits. Skin color, personal history, family history/genetics, the presence of sun-responsive health conditions, and the status of the immune system are important factors to consider when deciding how much sunlight, if any, is safe/beneficial for a person.