Now, there are a lot less allergies than when PABA was being used. People did have allergic reactions to that, but there are still allergic reactions to sunscreens. Especially the combination of sunscreen and light, because there are changes chemically that happen in a sunscreen when you’re in the sun.
If you have allergies to various related compounds, other sunscreens or perhaps, sulfonamides or drugs that are related to sulfonamides like some of the anti-diabetic drugs, then you’re more likely to have an allergy to the sun screens. It would be good to look at that and discuss that with your doctor or your dermatologist to make sure that it’s not a similar compound to something that you already have an allergy to.
So, it’s possible, yes, you can have an allergy to sunscreen. Not common, but if you do, it would be best not using sunscreens at all that are related to the ones that cause trouble. Sometimes a different one will work where one isn’t allergic. You should get that figured out or test in a very small spot before you go and spread sunscreen all over your body and go out and have a generalized allergic reaction.
Most sunscreens have been tested and they are not likely to cause a problem, but sometimes there are problems that occur in specific individuals, and sometimes there are problems that occur way later.
So let’s talk about that for just a moment. First of all, I believe the safest sunscreens are the ones that are made from zinc and probably better, regular zinc than nano zinc. The problem with nano particles is that they can get into the skin. The good thing about zinc is it’s a very important element in the body. Now titanium in the nano form theoretically could get into the skin and get next to the DNA energy to cause damage to the DNA, but that’s never been proven. ‘
So far titanium is likely to be safe, but zinc is likely to be safer. Now that is one component part of sunscreens and those are often called sun barriers or natural sunscreens. But remember, the sunscreens even containing zinc and titanium are actually dealing with the energy, it’s not like putting a total cover across your skin, like with clothing.
The other sunscreens that are used are compounds that absorb the energy from the sun and turn it to something less harmful. Many of those compounds are related to the sulfonamide. So if you have allergy to sulfur drugs, sunscreen could be a problem for you. If you had a reaction to other sunscreens, including PABA, you still could react to some of their new sunscreens because they are similar chemically. Finally, the sunscreens that contain these various compounds may have a little bit of what we call estrogen-like activity, and so for some people they could stimulate hormone receptors and could be dangerous.
Although these kinds of things are only found out years and years after use and exposure, I prefer to avoid these kind compounds if possible. The higher potency sunscreens will contain both the zinc and/or titanium and these compounds. Take a look carefully at your labels. If you have the opportunity, find a sunscreen that avoids those kinds of chemicals, but does contain antioxidant nutrients that will give you a little bit of extra end protection.
For some, a combination of good sense, protective genetics, and good luck protect them from skin cancer–even with an outdoor lifestyle.
I was on the beach in Sarasota recently, and I stopped by a group of kite surfers to inquire about what wetsuit I might need for a swim. They were adamant about protecting their skin with wetsuits and rashguards so that they don’t get any more (squamous cell) skin cancers.
Damage leading to skin cancer (and skin wrinkling) is often done by sunlamps to those who are too young to think about long term effects, or those who are mis-informed by the industry selling the lights or the tanning. While light exposure does lead to vitamin D production, and a little exposure can increase melanin production, I agree that legislation should be passed to better inform of the dangers and protect those under age from causing long term damage to their skin.
As a physician, I support of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule titled, “General and Plastic Surgery Devices: Restricted Sale, Distribution, and Use of Sunlamp Products.”
I commend the FDA on its leadership in regulating sunlamps and for taking this important step to protect the public health. It is estimated that indoor tanning causes upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year. In fact, using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by 59% and the risk increases with each use.
Be sensible about the sun, and protect yourself and your fellow Americans.