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Dermatologist Explains Truth of SPF Numbers

Dermatologist Explains Truth of SPF Numbers

Hattiesburg Dermatologist Explains Truth of SPF Numbers

The following is an excerpt from a WDAM Medical House Call story by Karrie Leggett-Brown, featuring William L. Waller, MD, with Dermatology–South.

When you are looking for sunscreen, it’s important to know your numbers. Dermatologist William Waller, of Hattiesburg Clinic’s Dermatology – South, explained what SPF 50 means.

“It only allows one-fiftieth of the amount of sun to get to the skin,” Waller said.

Waller said there is more to SPF than you may think. He explained the truth behind the number on your sunscreen.

“The higher SPF doesn’t necessarily give you as much protection as you might think,” Waller said.

He added continued research finds the higher the SPF number, or Sun Protection Factor Number, doesn’t mean you are getting more protection.

“SPF of 15 gives you about 93 percent protection from the sun, whereas an SPF of 30 gives you about 97 percent,” Waller said.

Waller said sunscreens offering protection more than 30 is marketing more protection for a longer time to the consumer, which is not necessarily the case.

“There is some false security to that because you think, ‘Oh, I’m going to put on 100, I’ll be good all day,’ and that’s not true at all,” Waller said.

Even the FDA has spoken out about companies labeling sunscreens higher than 30, according to Waller.

Click here for the full story.

Katie Townsend


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