Magazine article USA TODAY

Sunscreen Should Include UV-A Protection

Magazine article USA TODAY

Sunscreen Should Include UV-A Protection

Article excerpt

When you select a sunscreen this summer, be sure that you are getting all the protection you need against ultraviolet radiation, cautions Alexa Boer, chief resident in dermatology at Stanford (Calif.) Hospital and Clinics. Look for a product containing ingredients that screen out the shorter ultraviolet (UV-B) rays of the sun--known to cause burning and cancer--as well as the longer ultraviolet (UV-A) rays, more recently found to be potentially harmful. Some new products are available that offer improved protection against UV-A, she points out.

UV-A rays sometimes have been called the "safe" solar rays, and tanning salons have advertised UV-A exposure as a way to tan without danger. "But that's deceptive," Boer says. "We've found in the last few years that UV-A rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UV-B, are more apt to cause long-term skin damage, including wrinkles, and can enhance the cancer-causing effects of the UV-B rays over time. …

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