Recent controversy surrounding sunscreens has stimulated a reexamination of their use. The purposes of this article are to weigh the evidence regarding the value of sunscreens in preventing actinic damage and neoplasia and to evaluate the merit of objections that have been raised against their use for this purpose. Scientific aspects of damage from UV light, neoplasia, and sunscreens are reviewed. The value of sunscreen use in preventing actinic damage is discussed and a number of sunscreen controversies are revisited.
The evidence favors the safety and efficacy of sunscreens for the prevention of actinic damage, melanoma, and nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Sunscreens continue to be a practical and useful tool for the prevention of actinic damage and neoplasia.