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Sunscreen Pills Not Nearly As Effective As Protective Clothing, Conventional Sunscreens

August 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A number of different sunscreen options that protect skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays have been available for many years, including sprays, sticks and lotions. Now some new options – pills, ingestible liquids and UV monitoring bracelets – are available. But do pills really work? Board-certified dermatologist Henry Lim says wearing protective clothing and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 still provide the best protection. Studies comparing the level of protection provided by pills containing Polypodium leucotomos -- an extract of a Central American fern -- show the pill provides an SPF of 3 to 5, far less than a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Henry W. Lim, "Could protecting your skin from sun be as easy as popping a pill?", News release, American Academy of Dermatology, August 07, 2014, © American Academy of Dermatology
Preventative Care
North America
United States of America
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